Gingrich stays out of presidential race

Marietta, Georgia (Reuter) - Newt Gingrich, the outspoken conservative Speaker of the US House of Representatives, said yesterday he would not run for president in 1996, and would concentrate of his present job.

Mr Gingrich said he would remain in Congress to oversee passage of the Republican Party's "Contract with America" and a planned shift of government authority from the federal to the state level.

"You've got a bunch of very fine candidates out there," he said, adding: "People who want to get involved in the presidential race ought to get involved. People who want to help us in Congress pass the `Contract' with America' and work on . . . replacing the welfare state will have to focus on that. We'll work on that for the next year and a half and we'll let the other folks run for president."

So far, three Republicans have said they intend to run for president - Bob Dole, the Senate Majority Leader; Senator Phil Gramm of Texas, and Lamar Alexander, former governor of Tennessee.

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