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Campaign 2000 briefs

By Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published September 13, 2000


Clinton easily takes N.Y. nomination

Hillary Rodham Clinton breezed past a little-known challenger to win New York's Democratic Senate primary Tuesday, while Selma, Ala., elected its first black mayor, unseating a reformed segregationist.

In Vermont, primaries for the state Legislature tested the depth of anger over its civil unions law for gay couples.

As nine states and the District of Columbia held contests on the last big primary day of 2000, the first lady built a wide lead over orthopedic surgeon Mark McMahon en route to her contest against unopposed Republican Rep. Rick Lazio in November.

With 16 percent of precincts reporting, Clinton had 71,714 votes or 78 percent and McMahon had 20,481 votes or 22 percent. The question for Clinton was whether McMahon would get enough votes to embarrass her.

In Selma, businessman James Perkins defeated Joe Smitherman, a white man first elected before the bloody civil rights march of 1965.

Poll: Gore gets popular

Vice President Al Gore has shaken the persistent sense that he is not particularly likable and is now as highly regarded as Gov. George W. Bush on matters of character, leadership and overall personal popularity, the latest New York Times/CBS News Poll shows.

Gore has achieved substantial gains among women, independent voters and those from middle income groups. While Bush's support has diminished somewhat overall, he still retains the overwhelming support of men, Midwesterners and Southerners.

The poll shows that the presidential race is neck-and-neck and that Bush and Gore are facing off in the tightest competition just after Labor Day in 20 years. If the election were held today, 42 percent of registered voters said they would back Gore and 39 percent said they would vote for Bush. Four percent said they would back Ralph Nader, the Green party nominee, and 2 percent would favor Pat Buchanan of the Reform Party.

Gore has gained on Bush in recent weeks, but not to a degree that is statistically significant. The nationwide telephone poll, conducted Saturday through Monday with 843 registered voters, has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Buchanan wins a round

WASHINGTON -- The Reform Party's disputed $12.6-million in federal campaign money belongs to Pat Buchanan, the Federal Election Commission said Tuesday.

Buchanan, the former Republican who is counting on the money to revive his presidential campaign, is entitled to receive it as the party's nominee, the FEC said in a 5-1 preliminary ruling.

The commissioners are expected to give their final approval within days, authorizing the U.S. Treasury to give Buchanan a check. However, John Hagelin, who contends that he, not Buchanan, is the party's legitimate nominee, intends to appeal to federal court.

That could further delay Buchanan getting the money, since Hagelin officials said they will seek a federal injunction.

Cheney profits from stock

Dick Cheney realized a profit of $20.6-million last month as he cashed in most of his stake in the Halliburton Co., which he ran until he left to become the Republican candidate for vice president, he reported to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Cheney's sales, from Aug. 21 through Aug. 28, came before he announced Sept. 1 that he would forfeit some options in Halliburton if elected.

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