- The Washington Times - Saturday, November 2, 2002

First lady Laura Bush headed for the hustings yesterday in a last-minute effort to back Republican candidates in key races.
She will visit five states in three days before Election Day on Tuesday.
Mrs. Bush, 55, started her tour yesterday in North Carolina to support Elizabeth H. Dole, wife of former Sen. Bob Dole, in the race to replace retiring arch-conservative Republican Sen. Jesse Helms.
She will be blitzing New Hampshire, Iowa and Minnesota today, three key targets in the Republican campaign to regain control of the Senate.
Minnesota's Paul Wellstone died last week in a plane crash in the northern part of his home state, throwing the Senate race there in doubt now that Republican Norm Coleman faces Wellstone's replacement, former Democratic Vice President Walter Mondale.
The first lady will conclude her campaign tour tomorrow, when she joins President Bush in South Dakota. They will be campaigning there until Tuesday, when they will head back to their home state of Texas to vote.
All 435 seats in the House of Representatives, 34 of 100 Senate spots, and 36 of the nation's 50 governships are up for grabs in the Tuesday midterm elections, which will also shape Mr. Bush's 2004 re-election hopes.

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