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University Relations

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October 4, 2005
Contact: Bill Lacy, Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics, (785) 864-4900.

Delaware Sen. Biden to kick off Dole Institute 2008 'Contenders' lecture series


LAWRENCE -- Delaware Sen. Joe Biden, who announced in June he intended to seek the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination, will speak at the University of Kansas' Dole Institute of Politics this month to kick off a new "Contenders" lecture series at the institute featuring potential presidential candidates.

Biden will speak at 1:30 p.m. Oct. 28 at the institute. The event is co-sponsored by the KU Young Democrats student organization. Reservations are required for this free event. For reservations, call the institute, 785-864-4900 or e-mail doleinstitute@ku.edu.

"Sen. Biden will kick off our 'Contenders' series, designed to give each man and woman rumored to be seeking the presidency an excellent forum to discuss their views on critical issues facing our country," said Dole Institute Director Bill Lacy. "We are honored that Sen. Biden will be the first in what we plan to be a series of important appearances at the University of Kansas."

"The 2008 presidential race will be wide open," Lacy said. "What we hope to achieve is not to focus on horserace issues but to focus on issues and the people who may seek the presidency."

Biden, who previously ran for the 1988 Democratic nomination, told the Washington Post this summer he plans to be a candidate and would spend this year speaking across the country testing his message. If he determines he can appeal to a majority of Democrats and raise the money needed for the race, he will launch a campaign.

The top-ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Biden also serves on the Judiciary Committee, which will consider the nomination of White House Counsel Harriet Miers to be a Supreme Court Justice. In the Senate, he has been active in issues affecting foreign policy, civil liberties, crime, drug use and drug importation, and college aid and loan programs. Biden has crafted landmark federal crime laws, including the Violent Crime Control Act of 1994 and the Violence Against Women Act of 2000.

He was first elected to the Senate in 1972 at age 29, the fifth youngest senator in U.S. history. He's serving his sixth consecutive term and will be up for re-election in 2008.

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