Bob Dole easily won presidential primaries in Indiana, North Carolina and the District of Columbia on Tuesday, but with the nomination locked up weeks ago his prize was bragging rights and little else.
President Clinton, who faced no major opposition, won the Democratic contests in all three primaries.
With 89 percent of the precincts reporting in Indiana, Dole had 71 percent of the vote to Pat Buchanan’s 19 percent. In North Carolina, with 92 percent of the precincts in, Dole’s lead was 71 percent to 13 percent. In the District of Columbia, with 96 percent of the precincts counted, Dole had 76 percent, Buchanan 10 percent.
Also Tuesday, former Charlotte, N.C., Mayor Harvey Gantt swept aside political newcomer Charlie Sanders in a racially charged Democratic primary, setting up a rematch with Republican Sen. Jesse Helms.
With 97 percent of precincts reporting, Gantt had 297,116 votes, or 53 percent; Sanders had 232,344 votes, or 41 percent; and political unknown Ralph McKinney of Durham had 32,691 votes or 6 percent.
Gantt, who narrowly lost to Helms in 1990 after enduring attack ads that accused him of supporting racial quotas, challenged the senator to “come home to North Carolina” and debate the issues.
In Indiana, Indianapolis Mayor Stephen Goldsmith easily defeated two other candidates to win the GOP gubernatorial nomination.