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Helms Campaigns in National Spotlight

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RALEIGH — Jesse Helms is not resting on incumbentlaurels. Instead, he is campaigning statewide to retain his20-plus-year-old hold on the Senate seat Harvey Gantt would like to takeaway.

Helms supporter Franklin Spence and his son, William, say they've stoodby Helms every six years, and that they can't imagine having anyone elserepresent them in the U.S. Senate.

Helms has a reputation among his supporters for stating his positionclearly and sticking to it. And Helms proudly points to his consistency.

Helms supporter Deloris Sager describes Helms as a watchdog over hertaxdollars.

In what is one of the most closely-watched U.S. Senate races in thecountry,swarms of national and local media follow and meet the candidate at everystop. Helms says he doesn't think the press always has his best interestsatheart.

People like the Spences and the Sagers like Helms' humor andstaying power, and Helms says he's not anwhere near ready to say goodbyeto the U.S. Senate yet.

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