Whitman Won't

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WASHINGTON, D.C.: Now that Bob Dole has wrapped up the Republican presidential nomination, he must begin contemplating his choice for running mate. On Wednesday, Gov. Christie Todd Whitman said she told the Dole campaign she wants to remain governor of New Jersey and has no interest in joining Dole on the GOP ticket. "I told him that I appreciate all this discussion that was going on, but indicated that I still wanted to stay in the state of New Jersey," Whitman said. "So I'm going to continue to be governor of the state of New Jersey. I won't be on any ticket in 1996." Whitman, who took office in 1994, was seen as a rising star after giving the Republican response to President Clinton's State of the Union address in 1995. She had been mentioned, along with Colin Powell, as being on Dole's short list. The majority of Republican voters back Powell, but he has insisted he is not a politician and has no interest in the job. Dole has said he has not seriously thought about choosing a running mate. He expects to wait until the GOP convention in August to make his choice. Dole is under pressure from Pat Buchanan to pick a pro-life candidate. Both Whitman and Powell are pro-choice. Buchanan has threatened to launch an independent run for the White House if the Republican ticket and platform are not anti-abortion. Whitman's announcement leaves a quartet of Midwest governors as the leading vice- presidential contenders. Illinois' Jim Edgar, Michigan's John Engler, Ohio's George Voinovich and Wisconsin's Tommy Thompson all played visible roles in Dole's Midwest campaign earlier this month.