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Gavin to Stay Out of Senate Contest

<i> From a Times Staff Writer</i>

John Gavin, a former actor and ambassador to Mexico, has decided not to seek the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate in California next year despite entreaties by prominent conservative Republicans, a spokeswoman said Wednesday.

Gavin had been urged by officials in the Bush Administration and some congressional Republicans to become a candidate to succeed retiring Democratic Sen. Alan Cranston.

“He reflected on it a good deal after all the calls and activity and decided, for both business and family reasons, that he would not enter the race,” said Judy Miller, Gavin’s aide. A major factor was Gavin’s commitment as chairman and chief executive officer of the Century Council, a recently established nonprofit organization funded by distillers, brewers and vintners that seeks to reduce alcohol abuse and drunk driving, she said.

Some conservatives had hoped that Gavin would emerge as an alternative to the two declared GOP candidates--Los Angeles television and radio commentator Bruce Herschensohn and Rep. Tom Campbell (R-Stanford). They maintain that neither would be viable in the general election.

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