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CAMPAIGN 2012

Romney holds 18-point lead in New Hampshire poll

A new poll shows Mitt Romney holding a big edge in New Hampshire over his rivals in the GOP nomination race.

The former Massachusetts governor secured the support of 38 percent of the respondents in a new poll by the Institute of Politics at Harvard University and the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College.

Former Godfather's Pizza CEO Herman Cain sits in second with 20 percent and Rep. Ron Paul of Texas places third with 13 percent.

Three-term Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who for weeks enjoyed king of the hill status in national polls, is at 4 percent, even with Rick Santorum and a point behind Newt Gingrich.

CAMPAIGN FINANCE

Edwards' lawyer steps down from trial defense team

RALEIGH, N.C. — A key member of the legal team defending John Edwards against campaign-finance charges will not represent the former Democratic presidential candidate at his upcoming trial after questions about a potential conflict of interest.

A motion filed by federal prosecutors says Raleigh defense lawyer Wade Smith will withdraw. The move comes after prosecutors questioned whether Mr. Smith had a conflict of interest owing to a 2009 conversation with a financial adviser for Bunny Mellon, a wealthy socialite who provided the bulk of nearly $1 million used to support Mr. Edwards' then-pregnant mistress, Rielle Hunter, as he ran for president in 2007.

According to the government, Mr. Smith told Mrs. Mellon's adviser that Mr. Edwards knew the money was intended to help him. That appears to conflict with statements by Mr. Edwards that he knew nothing of the payments.

Mr. Edwards is charged with six felony and misdemeanor counts related to campaign-finance violations. He has pleaded not guilty. A trial is scheduled to begin in January.

Mr. Smith is among the most well-known defense lawyers in North Carolina, with a list of previous clients that includes members of the Duke University lacrosse team cleared of charges they gang-raped a stripper.

WASHINGTON

Two-term governor Rosellini dies at 101

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Former Washington Gov. Albert Rosellini, who brought an everyman personality to the state's top office, died Monday. He was 101.

The family said Mr. Rosellini's health had declined in recent weeks because of pneumonia.

A Democrat and son of Italian immigrants, Mr. Rosellini served as governor for eight years ending in 1965. His tenure in office was defined by efforts to reform state prisons and modernize mental health institutions.

Albert Dean Rosellini was born in Tacoma in 1910 and developed his work ethic as a child. He remembered selling newspapers at age 9 while also doing odd jobs for a woman for a penny a day.

He was elected to the state Senate in 1938, when he was 28 years old, and served for 18 years. He championed the creation of the medical and dental schools at the University of Washington.

Mr. Rosellini went on to serve as governor from 1957 until 1965 before losing to Republican Gov. Dan Evans.

GUNS

New California law bans open carry

A new state law will ban open carry of guns in California. The bill by Assemblyman Anthony Portantino, Pasadena Democrat, makes it a misdemeanor to carry an exposed and unloaded gun in public or in vehicles, with violators facing up to a year in prison or a potential fine of $1,000 when the law takes effect Jan. 1.

The bill exempts hunting and shooting events and does not apply to those who are given permits to carry a concealed weapon by law-enforcement authorities.

Mr. Portantino called the bill an opportunity to prevent tragedy.

CAMPAIGN 2012

Two former senators back Romney in N.H., Florida

Mitt Romney on Monday rolled out high-profile endorsements from a couple of former senators, giving him some powerful allies in two of the key early-primary states in the Republican nomination process.

Former Sens. Judd Gregg of New Hampshire and Mel Martinez of Florida said the former Massachusetts governor's record in government and private industry makes him the right person for the job.

Mr. Martinez, who will serve as chairman of the Romney campaign's National Advisory Council, said that with the nation's unemployment rate stuck at 9.1 percent, the country needs a leader to get the federal government's "fiscal house in order."

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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