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List of '96 Presidential Hopefuls Expands

MORE Republicans are poised to join the 1996 presidential race.

Indiana Sen. Richard Lugar plans to visit New Hampshire this month to help him decide if he will join the field.

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Separately, former Tennessee Gov. Lamar Alexander has set Feb. 28 for his formal campaign announcement. And Massachusetts Gov. William Weld playfully predicted the field ultimately will include a Republican governor whose name begins with ``W'' - but not necessarily him.

Mr. Lugar, a former Indianapolis mayor whose major focus in three Senate terms has been foreign affairs and agriculture issues, was easily reelected in November. If he joined the race, it would put two Hoosiers in the field: Former Vice President Dan Quayle is planning to seek the GOP nomination.

Lugar has committed to attend a Feb. 19 GOP dinner in New Hampshire that will feature brief remarks by a host of GOP prospects, including the candidates most active so far: Mr. Alexander, Texas Sen. Phil Gramm, Mr. Quayle, and Senate majority leader Bob Dole of Kansas.

Alexander, a former governor who also served as education secretary in the Bush administration, has made it clear for months that he is running. Others exploring the race include Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter, conservative commentator Patrick Buchanan, and several GOP governors.

During a CBS interview, Governor Weld was coy about his plans. He has aides exploring what it would take to seek the nomination, but merely said: ``I think eyes are turning to Pete Wilson of California. There'll probably be a pro-choice Republican governor whose name begins with `W'.''

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