Nation: In Front, but for How Long?

Hart quits the '86 Senate race to prepare for a bigger one

Even in the era of the perpetual presidential campaign, 34 months before election is too early for a formal announcement of candidacy. But it is not too soon to bow out of an intervening race that would at best be a distraction and at worst a danger. So Gary Hart, 49, widely regarded as the early front runner for the 1988 Democratic presidential nomination--at least since the withdrawal last month of Ted Kennedy--took that inevitable first step. On Saturday he announced that he will not run to retain his U.S. Senate seat from Colorado in 1986.

It was a fairly splashy...

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