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Thursday, March 31, 2005; Page A05

Opposition to Bush's U.N. Nominee Grows

Former senator James Sasser (D-Tenn.) and two other retired U.S. diplomats have joined a drive urging the Senate to reject John R. Bolton's nomination to be U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

Sasser, who was ambassador to China under President Bill Clinton, added his name to a letter distributed yesterday to senators on the Foreign Relations Committee. The two other former diplomats who signed the letter, raising the total to 62, were Patricia M. Byrne, deputy U.N. ambassador under President Ronald Reagan, and John L. Hirsch, ambassador to Sierra Leone in the Clinton administration.

The letter was drafted by Jonathan Dean, a senior U.S. arms control negotiator in the Carter administration, who also held diplomatic posts in Germany and Czechoslovakia.

Patrick Kennedy Opts Out of U.S. Senate Race

Rep. Patrick J. Kennedy (D-R.I.) announced that he will not try next year to join his father, Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.), in the U.S. Senate.

"I am grateful for the support and encouragement I have received to run for the Senate," Kennedy, 37, a six-term member of the House of Representatives, said in a brief statement.

"But over the past few days, I have determined that I can make the greatest difference in the lives of Rhode Island families by remaining on the Appropriations Committee in the House of Representatives and fighting for their priorities," Kennedy said.

A member of one of the nation's leading political families, Kennedy would have been the front-runner for the Democratic nomination to run next year against Republican Sen. Lincoln D. Chafee, a first-term moderate, a party strategist said.

With Kennedy out of the running, Democratic contenders include Rhode Island Secretary of State Matthew A. Brown and possibly former Rhode Island attorney general Sheldon Whitehouse.

Customs Boss May Be Headed for Manhattan

The White House is close to nominating the chief of the nation's immigration and customs enforcement agency to head the U.S. attorney's office in Manhattan, sources told the Associated Press.

Michael Garcia, a Department of Homeland Security assistant secretary, was in the running for the job last year, but no move was made, leaving in place veteran prosecutor David N. Kelley.

Garcia's name resurfaced in recent weeks as the lone candidate being mentioned by White House officials for the position, according to two sources familiar with the talks.

They spoke on the condition of anonymity because no final decision had been made.

The U.S. attorney position in Manhattan is considered a crown jewel among federal prosecutor posts because of its jurisdiction over Wall Street and its record of handling major terrorism cases.

-- From News Services

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