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Dole Urges Bulletproof Vests Funding

July 10, 1999

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) _ Republican presidential hopeful Elizabeth Dole called on Congress Saturday to double a $25 million grant program to help buy more bulletproof vests for police.

``As some of our government institutions have been tarnished in recent years, Americans have continued to retain high levels of support for our law enforcement community,″ Mrs. Dole said. ``And with good cause. They have maintained high standards of professionalism and have led the way as crime rates have been cut.″

Mrs. Dole on Saturday crisscrossed South Carolina with several quick stops to talk about the program and to greet supporters who wanted autographs and photos.

Angela Ketcham of Columbia brought her six children to meet her favorite candidate.

``A lot of it has to do with her being a real person,″ Ketcham said. ``She’s down on our level. She understands what it’s like to serve other human beings rather than her own interests and needs. I think a lot of politicians get lost in that.″

South Carolina’s Feb. 19 primary is considered an important early barometer for how candidates are likely to do in the conservative South. It follows Iowa’s caucuses and New Hampshire’s primary.

Later in the day, Mrs. Dole issued a statement congratulating the U.S. women’s soccer team for ``a job well done″ in winning the World Cup. She said the women ``have become America’s team.″

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