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Press Release - Shelby Becomes 26th Senator to Support Dole

January 12, 1996

Alabama Senator Richard C. Shelby today threw his support behind Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole's frontrunning bid for the Republican Presidential nomination. Shelby, who switched from the Democratic to the Republican Party immediately after the conservative revolution of 1994, becomes the 26th U.S. Senator to endorse Dole for President. Shelby will work with Congressman Spencer Bachus, Dole's Alabama Steering Committee Chair, to generate and organize grassroots support throughout the state. Other prominent Alabama Republicans who have endorsed Dole include Congressman Sonny Callahan and Congressman Terry Everett.

"As Bill Clinton's Democratic Party swung to the left, I realized that there was no longer room in the Party for a fiscal and social conservative like myself" said Senator Shelby. "As a Republican, I am proud today to endorse Bob Dole for President. Bob Dole's conservative message of less government and more opportunity for all people is resonating with voters in the state of Alabama and across the country. Senator Dole has led the fight in the Senate for the first balanced budget plan in a generation and has stood his ground against Bill Clinton's fiscal irresponsibility. He spearheaded the effort to successfully end unfunded mandates that unjustly burden states like Alabama with skyrocketing costs. And he believes, as I do, that America's young men and women should fight only under the flag of the United States, not that of the United Nations. America needs Bob Dole in the White House."

Dole welcomed Shelby's support: 'I'm honored to have the support of my long-time friend and colleague Richard Shelby. Senator Shelby shares my vision of reining in the federal government to set free the spirit of the American people; reconnecting government to the mainstream conservative values upon which this great nation was founded; and restoring America to its proper place as the leader of the free world. Growing up in a small town, I have always understood the importance of self-reliance, dedication to family, and faith in God and country. Senator Shelby and I know that if we as a nation return to these bedrock ideals, America's finest days still lie ahead."

Senator Shelby was first elected to the United States Senate as a Democrat in 1986. Following the Republican Revolution of 1994, Shelby switched to the Republican Party because it more closely embraced his conservative ideals. Prior to his election to the U.S. Senate, Shelby served in the U.S. House of Representatives for eight years.

In the latest CNN/USA Today poll of registered voters released this week, Dole led Clinton in a head-to-head match-up by 49% to 46%. Dole is also well ahead of his rivals for the GOP nomination. According to the same poll, Dole had 49% of the vote--38 percentage points ahead of his nearest challenger.

Robert Dole, Press Release - Shelby Becomes 26th Senator to Support Dole Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/315655

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