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NATION : Bush Hails Switch to GOP by D.C.'s Police Chief; He May Run for Mayor

<i> From Times wire services</i>

District of Columbia Police Chief Maurice T. Turner, reported to be considering a race for mayor, was welcomed into the GOP today by President Bush, who called his switch from Democratic ranks “a major step for our party.”

Bush and the police chief, who is black, posed for pictures in the Oval Office. With Republican National Committee Chairman Lee Atwater seated nearby, Bush said: “It’s a major step for our party as we try to broaden it out, and have the broadest possible appeal, so welcome.”

Earlier, sources who asked not to be identified told the Associated Press that Turner had been approached by GOP officials with promises of campaign support if he would make the race against incumbent Democratic Mayor Marion Barry.

“Right now I’m just becoming a member of the Republican Party. I’m not running for mayor at this time,” Turner said in response to questions.

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