Newt Gingrich became chairman of the political-action committee GOPAC in 1986, the year that its founder, Gov. Pete du Pont (R., Del.), resigned to seek the party’s presidential nomination. Its mission was to incubate Republicans in local offices and state legislatures so that they could later run for higher office. Determined to win a majority in the House of Representatives, Gingrich accepted the charge with gusto, and du Pont eagerly awaited the results.
“[He] was much better and [more] creative with GOPAC than I was,” du Pont recently told William Corkery, a college student who interviewed him for a senior thesis.
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