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Dole to resign from Senate

Dole

May 15, 1996
Web posted at: 2:04 p.m. EDT

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Majority Leader Bob Dole is to announce his plans to resign from the Senate this afternoon, a source close to the Republican told CNN.

Sources say the resignation will take effect June 11.

Dole, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, planned to make the announcement this afternoon at a news conference, the source said. Dole has reportedly made the decision, so he can concentrate on the upcoming presidential election.

The source told CNN that Dole has been rehearsing the resignation speech for several days. In the speech, the source said to expect a "re-announcement of the Dole campaign." Dole was elected to the Senate in 1968.

"You will see a very committed Bob Dole, dedicating himself to a job of unseating Bill Clinton," the source said.

However, the source added that Dole could change his mind.

Dole, who is trailing Clinton in polls, has previously rejected suggestions from aides and GOP officials to give up his reign as majority leader, because of the heavy work load. The aides told Dole that running for president while serving as majority leader was a nearly impossible task.

Those urging the Kansan to step down have told him that one reason his campaign is flagging is that he has been occupied with daily Senate battles over the minimum wage and other issues, leaving little time to frame the campaign.

Word of Dole's decision to shift gears came in the wake of his Tuesday meeting with nearly 20 Republican governors, many of whom urged Dole to get his campaign out of Washington.

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