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Sen. Alfonse D'Amato will head the steering committee for Bob Dole's presidential campaign. The New York senator's move is expected to trigger a wave of endorsements for Dole by Gov. George Pataki and other key Republicans in the state. That may give the Senate majority leader a virtual lock on the critically-important New York primary that will deliver 102 GOP delegates one year from today. "Dole has this near obsession with recruiting governors," says TIME congressional correspondent Karen Tumulty. In a recent TIME interview, she adds, Dole said: "Richard Nixon used to say he'd trade you 10 senators for one governor, because the governors are on the ground." The New York primary could also build campaign momentum: it is closely followed next March by the contests in California (163 delegates) and Texas (123).