C. Boyden Gray (R), a DC "superlawyer" and ex-Bush 41 WH Counsel, is mulling a bid for the GOP nod to replace retiring Sen. Jesse Helms (R), according to well-informed Hotline GOP sources. His proponents believe Gray would be a "more formidable general election" foe against ex-WH CoS Erskine Bowles (D). As one Gray proponent puts it: "Boyden matches Bowles in money, skills and temperament." Gray is independently wealthy and could "easily self-fund" the race, according to these sources. As for making a final decision to run, friends say they are not sure, but that Gray "has not said 'no'" and seems "undaunted" by Elizabeth Dole's "high place in the polls." Gray, who once clerked for ex-SCOTUS Chief Justice Earl Warren, is a favorite of TV bookers when the issues of the day legal in nature. Search The Hotlinedatabase for "Boyden" during the times of impeachemnt and the FL recount and you'll find numerous hits.