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Waco Republicans excited over GOP visits

Sept. 17, 1996

Chelsa Dunn/The Lariat

A Midway Middle schooler paints a sign welcoming Elizabeth Dole.

By Kate Chester

Lariat Reporter

Waco Republicans are excited about Dan Quayle's visit yesterday and Elizabeth Dole's speaking engagement this morning.

Dan Quayle arrived Monday morning in Waco to endorse and raise funds for the Jay Mathis campaign. A breakfast was arranged as a fund-raiser with approximately 50 people in attendance. The breakfast was followed by a rally for Quayle of about 170 people at the Waco airport. Political advisers were excited.

'This is considered a key target race for knocking off an incumbent,' said Chad Cantella, campaign manager for the Jay Mathis campaign, explaining Quayle's endorsement. 'Dan Quayle thinks that Jay can win, and he's going to win.'

Some college students said they were excited.

'We felt very privileged to meet him,' said Hilary White, College Republicans president.

After his first stop in Waco, Quayle continued throughout Texas Monday, making six stops for endorsing Republican candidates.

'Dan Quayle is one of the great conservatives in the country,' Cantella said. 'The fact that he came here will help a lot.'

White said Quayle spoke briefly at the breakfast, stressing family values and how these values are exemplified by Mathis. She said she was very enthusiastic about the fundraiser.

'It's great to see the Mathis campaign going so strong right now,' White said.

If Dan Quayle was not enough for local Republicans, Elizabeth Dole will speak at 11:50 am today at Midway Middle School in Hewitt.

Campaigning for her husband, presidential candidate Bob Dole, Elizabeth Dole will address current political issues such as crime and drugs, Cantella said.

White said she views Dole's selection of a middle school to speak as a sign that Dole and the Republicans are concerned with educating the young.

Yesterday afternoon, student council members from Midway stayed after school to paint posters for Elizabeth Dole and the Dole/Kemp campaign.

Seventh grader Kimberly Dwratislaw said she was 'excited' about Dole's visit.

'I heard her speak at the Convention and I'm excited to hear her speak,' Dwratislaw said. Dwratislaw said she supports Bob Dole's attempt at the presidential office because she likes his wife.

'It was brave of her to get into the crowd at the [Republican National] Convention,' Dwratislaw said.

Seventh grader Elizabeth Albers said she thought it was 'neat' that a presidential candidate's wife would come to Waco.

Many of the students thought that this was an incredible opportunity to hear Dole speak, regardless of their political views.

'I really like someone coming to our school like this,' eight grader Justin Burt said. '[But] I don't really want to vote for Dole. I agree with my parents, he's a little too old.'

The College Republicans will be carpooling to the event for students who are interested in attending. They will leave from the Bear Pit at 10:50 a.m. for Midway.

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