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Dick Cheney Is Bush’s Top VP Pick

July 21, 2000

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Dick Cheney, who is heading up George W. Bush’s vice presidential selection effort, has emerged as the leading candidate for the job, a senior Republican official said Friday.

The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Bush is ``very, very close″ to settling on the former Defense Secretary but cautioned that the presumptive Republican nominee has not made a final decision.

The official made the disclosure after confirming that Cheney, a Texas businessman, switched his voter registration to Wyoming to avoid having two Texans on the ticket, a coincidence that would be a sticking point under the U.S. Constitution.

Cheney’s registration switch is designed to avoid conflict with language in the 12th Amendment of the Constitution that forbids the Electoral College voters in Texas from voting for both the president and vice president who are ``inhabitants″ of their state. Cheney is a former Wyoming lawmaker.

Other names that have figured prominently in the speculation including Govs. Frank Keating, Tom Ridge of Pennsylvania and George Pataki of New York; Rep. John Kasich of Ohio; Sens. John McCain, Fred Thompson and Bill Frist of Tennessee.

The official said Bush could still turn to other candidates, though the source would not say who remains in the running.

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