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  Forbes' NH Campaign Manager Resigns

Associated Press
Thursday, May 20, 1999; 9:39 a.m. EDT

MANCHESTER, N.H. – The New Hampshire campaign manager for Republican presidential candidate Steve Forbes resigned following his arrest on charges of pulling a gun on another man at a bar.

Peter Robbio, 37, resigned the day after his April 16 arrest at the Black Brimmer, a Manchester saloon, the Forbes campaign said Wednesday.

A bar patron, Raul Gonzalez, said Robbio bumped him and the two exchanged words. He said that Robbio then walked a few feet away, and while continuing to look at Gonzalez, he pulled out a handgun and pointed the gun at his own shoulder, according to an affidavit from arresting officer James Ahern.

Gonzalez told Ahern the man walked six to 10 feet away without taking his eyes off Gonzalez, ``then reached inside his jacket and pulled out (a) small dark handgun and held it up to his right shoulder.''

Lt. Mark Putney said Robbio faces up to 14 years in prison if convicted of reckless conduct and criminal threatening.

Robbio had told the Concord Monitor earlier this week that he quit for personal reasons.

``Running the New Hampshire presidential primary is more than a full-time job,'' he told the newspaper. ``For personal reasons, I just don't have that time.'' Reached Wednesday after Fox News broke the news of his arrest, Robbio declined to comment.

Bill Dal Col, national campaign manager for Forbes, also declined to comment on the arrest Wednesday. He did say Robbio was welcome to continue volunteering for the campaign, as he has done since resigning.

``He is innocent until proven guilty,'' Dal Col said.

A conservative activist, Robbio was New Hampshire campaign manager for commentator Patrick Buchanan in the 1996 presidential primary, which Buchanan narrowly won.

Graham Shafer, former political director of the Tennessee Republican Party, has taken over as Forbes' state campaign chairman.

© Copyright 1999 The Associated Press

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