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Pressler May Run for D.C. Mayor

June 11, 1998

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Former South Dakota Sen. Larry Pressler has told local Republican officials he is considering running for mayor of the nation’s capital.

Pressler indicated he may challenge D.C. Council member Carol Schwartz in the September primary for the GOP nomination to succeed retiring Mayor Marion Barry.

His race would be uphill. Democrats dominate D.C. politics, and GOP Chairman Julie Finley said today that Pressler had little chance of getting her party’s nomination.

``He hasn’t been visible here. He hasn’t been in local politics at all,″ said Finley, who is backing Schwartz’ candidacy.

Five Democrats are running in the Sept. 15 primary.

Pressler, now a lobbyist, was not immediately available for comment.

But he told Roll Call, a Capitol Hill newspaper, that he has written a three-point agenda, including a private-school voucher program and a ``real tax cut″ to stimulate economic development in Washington.

``I have lived in D.C. since 1971, longer than anyone else who’s running,″ Pressler said.

Despite hailing from a state that has relatively few blacks, Pressler told the newspaper said he could connect with Washington’s blacks. The district is 65 percent black.

``I have a lot of African-American friends,″ he said.

He said he attended the 1963 civil-rights march on Washington and has an honorary degree from Southeastern University, a predominantly black college.

Pressler served three terms in the Senate before he was defeated for re-election in 1996 by Democrat Tim Johnson.

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