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Governor Hopefuls Mobilize Volunteer Forces On Campaign’s Last Day

June 6, 1989

Undated (AP) _ New Jersey voters cast ballots in a primary today with four Republicans running neck and neck for the GOP mantle of departing two-term Gov. Thomas H. Kean.

Voters also decided on a new mayor in Jackson, Miss., and the fate of the Ranch Seco nuclear plant in California.

The Election Day maxim of ″every vote counts″ has more validity than usual, said one campaigner in New Jersey’s Republican primary.

″You always say that because it’s always true, but this race looks to be extraordinarily close,″ said Cliff Pintak, campaign manager for Assembly Speaker and Republican hopeful Chuck Hardwick.

Hardwick and the three other GOP frontrunners - U.S. Rep. James Courter, former Attorney General Cary Edwards and state Sen. William Gormley - scrambled around the state Monday making final pleas to voters at train stations, senior citizen centers and shipping centers.

A fifth major Republican candidate, state Sen. Gerald Cardinale, has lagged in the polls and in fund-raising.

The GOP candidates spent an estimated $7 million on television advertisements alone.

The popular Kean, who is barred by law from seeking a third straight four- year term, has made no endorsement.

There has been little suspense in the Democratic primary, with U.S. Rep. James Florio enjoying a large lead in the polls over Assemblyman Alan Karcher and Princeton Mayor Barbara Sigmund.

In Sacramento, Calif., voters were deciding whether the problem-plagued Rancho Seco plant should be closed. A majority of the board members of the utility district say they will abide by the results of the non-binding vote.

Critics say the 15-year-old facility is unsafe and are angry at rising utility bills and a $400 million repair bill after a 1985 overcooling accident.

Supporters say the plant’s bad days are over now that it has been overhauled and has new managers.

In Jackson, Miss., state Rep. Kane Ditto, a Democrat, faced only token opposition from three challengers in the mayoral election. Ditto upset incumbent Dale Danks Jr. in the May 16 primary and was opposed by Republican John Bonelli and independents Liz Gilchrist and Ricky Godbolt. Danks was mayor for 12 years.

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