Lowell Weicker Considers Presidential Bid

  • Share
  • Read Later
Political sources tell TIME that one-time Connecticut senator and governor Lowell Weicker is seeking a wealthy running mate to help finance a presidential bid. His choice will likely be B.T. Golisano, president and CEO of Paychex Inc., a Rochester payroll servicing company. If Weicker and Golisano reach an agreement, they would immediately commence petition drives to get on state ballots. Weicker, who was a maverick in the Republican party while in the Senate, became Connecticut's first independent governor in 1990. Golisano ran unsuccessfully in New York's 1994 gubernatorial race as a third-party candidate. TIME sources say the duo is expected to seek nomination of Ross Perot's Reform Party. Perot has in the past insisted that a "fresh face" would be a better choice than himself to head the party's ticket. Reform Party leaders may prefer Weicker because he could attract voters put off by the outspoken Texan. But Perot himself could be the biggest obstacle to Weicker's nomination. Last January Perot and Weicker met in Washington and it appeared the chemistry between them was not great. Perot was asked in an interview with C-Span on Sunday about a potential Weicker candidacy: "Well, that's certainly his prerogative and I haven't heard that, but we want to attract the finest people in the country." Along with Weicker and Perot, other potential third- party candidates include consumer-advocate Ralph Nader and conservative commentator Pat Buchanan. Nader, who is expected to win the Green party's nomination in Tuesday's California primary, could hurt President Clinton's reelection bid. A Los Angeles Times poll last week showed Nader drawing five percentage points from Clinton in California, a state vital to his campaign. On the other hand, a Buchanan run in November could siphon votes from GOP nominee Bob Dole. Buchanan has said he might run if Dole does not embrace some of his conservative stances.