September 13, 1995 in Nation/World

Forbes Prepares To Spend $25 Million On Presidential Bid

Associated Press

With all signs pointing toward a GOP presidential bid, publisher Malcolm S. Forbes Jr. has set up a campaign headquarters, hired a staff of political professionals and appears ready to spend as much as $25 million of his own money, advisers say.

All that is left is for Forbes to make the decision, and intimates believe he will make the leap.

Forbes, who succeeded his late father as president and CEO of Forbes Inc., has a dozen or so employees helping run an exploratory campaign effort out of an office in Bedminster, N.J., not far from his home.

Still under discussion is when and how Forbes might announce his decision. Political economist Jude Wanniski, one of Forbes’ biggest supporters, believes only a lightning bolt could deter him at this point.

Forbes aides have been exploring TV markets and prices for a potential advertising run and are prepared for an all-out campaign, said a political adviser who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Forbes, who goes by Steve, is little known, has never held public office, and is considered a long shot by many in Republican circles. But his supporters say focus groups and polling indicate his message and image have appeal.

One big plus is his wealth.

Forbes, 48, has said he would spend whatever it takes, through a combination of his own money and fund raising. The adviser who spoke anonymously said a budget of $25 million was being planned.

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