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Dole’s Hometown Ready to be a Tourist Destination, Say Sisters

August 13, 1996

SAN DIEGO (AP) _ If Bob Dole gets elected president and thousands of tourists start traipsing around his boyhood, that’ll be just fine with his older sister.

``We don’t mind. We’re proud of him,″ Gloria Nelson said in a television appearance Monday night after the first session of the Republican National Convention that is expected to pick Dole as its presidential nominee.

Mrs. Nelson, who still lives in Russell, Kan., the small town where Dole grew up, said ``Russell’s behind him 100 percent.″

``I think they’re ready, willing and able″ to be a tourist stop, added Norma Kean Steele, Dole’s younger sister. Dole’s sisters and his daughter, Robin, all appeared on CNN’s ``Larry King Live.″

Ms. Dole, 41, a volunteer in her father’s presidential campaign, said she has no plans to play role in a Dole administration.

``I’m going to try and go back to a pretty normal life. I can return to something close to it,″ Ms. Dole, a former lobbyist, said.

Asked if she sat in on the strategy sessions from which former Housing secretary Jack Kemp emerged as her father’s choice for a running mate, Ms. Dole replied ``I could have, but I thought `No I don’t want to know’ and got up and left.″

She discounted the previous political differences Kemp has had with her father, adding: ``He’s already part of the family.″

Ms. Dole, who was a teen-ager when her parents divorced, said Dole ``was a great father. We spent a lot of time together, contrary to what some are saying. And we had a lot of fun. I mean, he taught me how to drive. We played ping pong together. He took me to church. He did special things for me, took me on vacations. And I guess we had a pretty normal relationship.″

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