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Jeb Bush Joins Brother’s Campaign

October 31, 2000

FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) _ Gov. Jeb Bush hit the campaign trail Monday for his brother’s presidential campaign, appearing with their mother at Republican strongholds on the Gulf coast.

Bush has been accused of not doing enough to help George W. Bush, allowing Al Gore to turn Florida into a battleground when expectations were that Bush would have it locked up by now.

But with eight days until the Nov. 7 election, Jeb Bush plans several appearances to help rally supporters for his brother. Polls show Jeb Bush to be extremely popular among Floridians.

``Every vote does make a difference,″ he told 1,500 Republican enthusiasts at a senior center here. ``If we carry Florida, my brother is going to be the president of the United States.″

Jeb Bush and their mother, former first lady Barbara Bush, also planned appearances Tuesday in Palm Harbor and Bartow.

Former President Bush also is expected to visit Fort Walton Beach and Panama City on Tuesday, said Leo DiBenigno, spokesman for Bush’s Florida campaign.

DiBenigno said Jeb Bush has campaigned vigorously for his brother while performing his duties as governor. He said it’s normal that he would step up his appearances as the election approaches.

Florida and its 25 electoral votes are part of George W.’s strategy for winning _ no Republican has won the presidency without capturing the state since Calvin Coolidge in 1924.

``The entire campaign is now in high gear,″ DiBenigno said.

Another family member, Jeb Bush’s son George P. Bush, also appears in a Spanish-language television ad extolling his uncle. DiBenigno said the commercial is being aired in Miami, Orlando and Tampa, areas with large numbers of Hispanic voters.

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