Bradley pitches in for Carnahan campaign

Thursday, October 31, 2002

ST. LOUIS -- With only days before the election, Missouri Senate candidates are bringing in outside help to sway voters.

Former U.S. Sen. Bill Bradley came to St. Louis Wednesday to help fellow Democrat Sen. Jean Carnahan in her quest for election to the final four years of the term won posthumously by her husband, Gov. Mel Carnahan, who died in a plane crash before Election Day in 2000.

"This is a top priority for me in this last week. I think this is the most important Senate race in the country," said Bradley, a native of Crystal City, Mo.

The pair spoke about Carnahan's work on health care issues at Barnes-Jewish Hospital to a crowd of 50 doctors, nurses and staff.

Bradley, who made an unsuccessful bid for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2000, has been traveling the country in recent weeks, endorsing other candidates. He was a U.S. senator from New Jersey from 1979 to 1997.

Bradley said normally, he would have made up to 50 national appearances, but he has scaled back to fewer than 10 stops this year. He said it allows him to focus on certain races, such as the one for Missouri's Senate seat. The race could determine control of the Senate.

"This is the state I was born in and a state I care about," Bradley said.

Carnahan has achieved much for the average American, especially in the realm of health care, in her two years in the Senate, Bradley said.

In her remarks to the crowd, Carnahan said she supported legislation that creates health care alliances to help small businesses afford plans for employees. She also mentioned her cosponsorship of a prescription drug benefit bill that guarantees seniors benefits under Medicare, as well as the Nursing Reinvestment Act, which provides scholarships to study nursing in exchange for service.

Bradley's appearance only adds to the growing list of political stars traveling throughout the state this week.

"I don't know who other campaigns are bringing in, but nobody's taller than I am," said the six-foot-five former basketball star.

On Tuesday, former President George Bush appeared in Springfield for Republican challenger Jim Talent.

Former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani stopped in Kansas City Wednesday in support of Talent and Republican candidates in Kansas.

A Carnahan stop in Kansas City Thursday will include appearances by Sen. Joseph Lieberman, D-Conn. and Rep. John Conyers Jr., D-Mich. Lieberman will also be in Columbia with Carnahan later in the day.

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