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Politics

Hillary Campaigns For Crist, Dems

WASHINGTON — Hillary Rodham Clinton is hitting the campaign trail for Democrats in October, lending her name and support in key races for Senate and governor as she considers another White House bid in 2016.

The former Secretary of State plans to campaign for Senate candidates in six states: Iowa, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Colorado, Georgia and Kentucky.

The schedule will take her across a competitive Senate landscape for Democrats seeking to maintain their majority during President Barack Obama’s final two years. The Republicans, who are expected to keep their majority in the House of Representatives, need only six seats to take control of the Senate.

Clinton has said she expects to decide whether to run for president again around the beginning of 2015, but the campaign travel before the midterm elections will help her connect with Democratic partisans, donors and voters who could fuel a second White House race.

Along with her husband, former President Bill Clinton, the former New York senator is the most sought-after fundraiser and surrogate for Democrats this year in a challenging political climate.

Clinton also intends to help out gubernatorial campaigns in Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Illinois. Her travels will also take her to California, where she will headline a fundraiser for Senate Democrats on Oct. 20.

Some of the dates and events, which were first reported by the online news site Politico, are still being finalized. Some trips will inject her into governor’s races featuring a slate of longtime allies and early presidential states with a special appeal to female voters.

The former first lady kicked off her campaign season in Iowa, appearing at the annual steak fry fundraiser for retiring Sen. Tom Harkin in September. She expects to make a second trip before the election to Iowa, a key state because its party caucuses kick off the presidential primary races.

In a bookend of sorts, Clinton plans to return to New Hampshire on Nov. 2 — two days before the election — to drum up support for Gov. Maggie Hassan and Sen. Jeanne Shaheen. The state — also key to primary season — often pivots on the support of female voters, and Clinton’s appearance there could help drive up turnout.

Governor’s races will also get her attention. Clinton stopped in Miami on Oct. 2nd to help Charlie Crist, the ex-Republican Florida governor who is now competing for his old job as a Democrat. Crist and Republican Gov. Rick Scott have tangled in one of the nation’s most competitive governor’s races, which could be a dry run for a 2016 battle in the nation’s premier swing state.

Other events are planned to help vulnerable Sens. Kay Hagan in North Carolina and Mark Udall in Colorado and Senate candidates Bruce Braley in Iowa, Alison Lundergan Grimes in Kentucky and Michelle Nunn in Georgia.

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(KEN THOMAS)

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