- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 7, 2001

Rep. Gary A. Condit says his heightened profile in Washington in recent days does not mean he has decided to run for re-election.
"I'm just trying to do my job," Mr. Condit told The Washington Times. "What I do, or don't do, in the future will have to do with my own gut-check."
The California Democrat, whose affair with missing former intern Chandra Levy dominated the news over the summer, acknowledged reports that he is circulating petitions in his district to collect enough signatures for the primary ballot.
He insisted, however, it is not necessarily a sign that he will run again simply that he dislikes paying the $1,451 filing fee.
"That's not a declaration of anything," Mr. Condit said. "That's what I've always done every [election] year."
Asked if he will run, Mr. Condit would say only, "I'm not talking about that."
Mr. Condit did cancel his annual "Condit Country" fund-raiser, scheduled for Oct. 20, because of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11.
"Nobody wants to party," he said. "It would be inappropriate to plan a huge party."
The seven-term congressman appears to have mounted an image comeback since Sept. 11. He was named to a new subcommittee on terrorism on the House Intelligence Committee, and late last week, he was active on the House floor in the passage of both a farm bill and the annual budget for intelligence agencies.
Mr. Condit is the second-most senior Democrat on the Agriculture Committee and fifth in seniority among Democrats on the Intelligence panel.
He said his work on intelligence matters, criticized by some colleagues as a security risk after revelations over the summer of his extramarital affair, "is independent from everything else that has been going on in my life."
Mr. Condit spent most of the summer dodging the news media as Miss Levy's parents pressed him publicly to reveal more details about his relationship with their daughter. Investigators interviewed Mr. Condit four times and, with his permission, searched his condominium in Adams Morgan.
Miss Levy, 24, disappeared in late April as she prepared to return to California.
Mr. Condit finally granted an interview to ABC's Connie Chung but was roundly criticized for appearing combative and failing to give specific answers.
Last month, the California legislature drew new boundaries for Mr. Condit's district that could make it more difficult for him to win re-election. A Field poll conducted late last month showed that 46 percent of the voters surveyed in new portions of the district give Mr. Condit an unfavorable rating, compared with 37 percent of voters from the original boundaries of his district.
The Modesto Bee has repeated its call for Mr. Condit to resign since the terrorist attacks, saying his service on the terrorism subcommittee demands strong integrity and judgment.
"Condit lacks both," the newspaper said.
Last week, Mr. Condit reportedly put his one-bedroom condominium up for sale for $130,000 but quickly took it off the market.
Among the candidates in line to compete for Mr. Condit's seat are Dennis Cardoza, a Democratic state assemblyman who has faced accusations of being unfit for office after it emerged he ran a bar offering "soft porn" mud-wrestling nights.
Mr. Cardoza has worked for Mr. Condit, both in Sacramento and on Capitol Hill.
He was expecting competition for the Democratic nomination from veteran state Sens. Jim Costa and Mike Machado and state Agriculture Secretary Bill Lyons.
State Sen. Dick Monteith is considered the favorite to become the Republican candidate.

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