Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia on July 11, 1976 · Page 6
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July 11, 1976

Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia · Page 6

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Charleston, West Virginia
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Sunday, July 11, 1976
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Page 6
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6A -July 11, 1976 Sundav Ganette-Mail Charleston. West Virjjlnli . Reagan on Top in Colorado Delegate Voting AP, N.Y. Time* FORST COLLINS, Colo: - Pleading that "every delegate counts now," Ronald Reagan had the upper hand Saturday in the contest for 16 Colorado delegates to the Republican National Convention. The former California governor, who trails President Ford by 47 delegates nationwide, according to The Associated Press survey of delegates, won 11 of 15 Colorado delegates in congressional district races last month and Friday. Both Reagan and Ford campaign strategists said that gave Reagan the best shot at the 16 at-large delegates being elected this weekend. The question was whether Reagan could parlay a relatively slim majority at the state convention into a delegate shutout Saturday, or if he would have to split the at-large bloc with the President. Ford had 1,031 of the 1,130 delegates needed for the Republican nomination going into the Colorado selections, and Reagan had 984. * * * A BIG COLORADO win was crucial to Reagan, because Ford is favored to win most of the 55 delegates who will be picked in the final two state conventions next week: Connecticut, where Ford hoped for all 35, and Utah, where Reagan will be trying to capture all 20. Rogers C. B. Morton, Ford's campaign manager, said Friday that if the President got anything more than three delegates in Colorado, he would consider that a victory. Ford won three delegates a few hours later in a congressional district caucus. Reagan took five and one was elected uncommitted. Combined with six won earr lier by Reagan, that gave him an 11-3-1 advantage from the congressional district races. Reagan, who campaigned lifperson for two days in Colorado, was optimistic, talking about possible vice-presidential running mates and favorably assessing his chances in a race against Jimmy Carter, the apparent Democratic nominee. Reagan said he would be willing, if a majority of GOP delegates in Kansas City- wanted, to submit a list of Republicans he would consider acceptable vice presidential running mates, and let the convention choose. But he said such a list would contain only the names of persons who agree with his conservative philosophy. He named John Connally of Texas, Sen. Howard Baker of Tennessee, and Treasury Secretary William E. Simon as some of the persons he would consider acceptable. "I don't believe in the old tradition of picking someone at the opposite end of the political spectrum because he can get some votes you can't get yourself," Reagan told Colorado supporters. convention rules and credentials committee. The six new supporters F'ord picked up in New York, Pennsylvania and Guam delegations last week were described as the beginning of a series of "breakthroughs" toward a convention majority. And a canvass of uncommitted delegates by The New York Times detected 22 who said they leaned strongly to Ford versus one delegate leaning to Reagan. So upbeat was the Ford camp's assessment of the President's nominating prospects that one senior official was seen making a list of Reagan field operatives who may be asked to join the President Ford committee staff after the convention. In a letter he mailed Thursday to convention delegates, Morton went so far as to encourage the belief, contrary to most national polls and political assessment, that the President would have a good chance to defeat Carter. Ronald Reagan Gains Delegates served as grand marshal of the traditional opening day parade. In Washington just as political events have begun to favor President Ford's bid for the nomination, his campaign organization has succumbed to factional strife. Frederick Slight, the campaign research director, resigned quietly three weeks ago, citing as one of his reasons the lack of communication within the President Ford Committee, and between it and the White House. "People simply weren't talking to one another," Slight said in an interview thie campaign chairman, has started searching for a new "director of communications," to the distress of the campaign press secretary. Peter F. Kaye, who presumably would be superceded by the new aide. Kaye declined to discuss his situation. His allies at the Ford headquarters said, however, that they feared the motive for seeking a communications director was to diminish the level of candor set by Kaye, whose openness has won high marks from the political press corps but unnerved some White House and campaign officials. Stuart Spencer, the deputy chairman and the key political strategist, is reportedly so irked by the dissension that he is said to be giving serious thought to resigning soon after the Republican National Convention in August. Spencer, a veteran political operative and Kaye's patron on the campaign staff, insisted on a month-to-month contract when he was hired last year. The sources said he could simply refuse to renew it in September if conditions did not improve. REAGAN ALSO stressed at every appearance a new campaign theme of recent weeks -- that he believes he will be more electable in November than Ford, especially against Carter. Reagan said Ford would be put on the defensive by Carter's anti-Washington campaign. He described himself as "the only other candidate of either party who is not a part of the Washington establishment," and said he would not be at the same disadvantage as Ford. Instead, a Carter-Reagan race would focus on a comparison of their platforms and records as governors of California and Georgia. It would be Carter who would have to defend big centralized government programs, Reagan said. Asked to assess Ford's chances against Carter. Reagan told a Denver news conference: "I don't want to predict an outright defeat for our party at all. I think · he'd have a very difficult time with him." "I don't think he can come as close to beating him as I can," Reagan said. Later Reagan clarified that he meant he was confident he could beat Carter, but that Ford would have a tougher time. In Calgary, Steven Ford, 20, youngest son of the President, officially opened the Calgary Exhibition and Stampede Friday. Young Ford represented his father and ASKED ABOUT THE reports, Spencer said only that he had no plans beyond the Aug. 16 convention. Frictions are academic to presidential campaigns, where failures and frustrations like those Ford has encountered in trying to surmount Ronald Reagan's chal- Rogers C.B. Morton Looking for Staff lenge invevitably lead to fingers being wagged from and toward all sides. "The irony," said a senior campaign adviser, "is that this is all happening when things are beginning to break Ford's way." Ford's success Thursday at the North Dakota Republican convention--he won 12 delegates to Reagan's four and two who were uncommitted--apparently assured the President of control of crucial committees where procedural challenges could arise at the national convention. Moreover, organizing votes Friday at a causus of the West Virginia delegates seemed to affirm the Ford camp's claim to the bulk of the support in the technically Actress Sought Plea Bargain, Prosecutor Says FORT COLLINS, Colo. (AP)-The prosecutor in the Claudine Longet manslaughter case said Saturday that a lawyer for the French-born actress made a plea-bargaining proposal several weeks ago. Dist. Atty. Frank Tucker gave no details, but he said the overture was rejected. "I told them I was not interested in plea negotiations at all," he said. Efforts to reach Miss Longet's lawyers Saturday were unsuccessful. The prosecutor said he met with Los Angeles lawyer Charles V. Weedman before Miss Longet's arraignment June 10 in the shooting death last March 21 of her lover, professional skier Vladimir "Spider" Sabich. Tucker declined to discuss in detail the conversation with Weedman. When pressed for the defense's proposal, he replied, "Needless to say, it was nothing we were interested in." Steven Ford Grand Marshal uncommitted delegation. By votes of 21 to 6, the West Virginians rejected nominations of Reagan supporters to serve on the' Dining! Dam**! Show! 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