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Edwards to address state legislators

MONTGOMERY (AP) — Alabama is set for another round of presidential politics Thursday, when former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards visits Montgomery to speak to legislators and attend a fundraising reception.

The Legislature has invited Edwards to speak at 10 a.m. He is the first Democratic presidential candidate to address lawmakers, but two Republican candidates, Arizona Sen. John McCain and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, have already done it.

Candidates' speeches to the Legislature are open to the public, but seating in the House gallery usually fills up quickly.

After Edwards' legislative address, he will attend a $1,000-per-person reception hosted by the Beasley Allen law firm in Montgomery, Gibson Vance, a member of the law firm and an organizer of the event, said Monday.

Also Thursday, Howard Dean, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, plans fundraising stops in Birmingham and Mountain Brook to benefit the DNC.

Alabama's presidential primary is scheduled for Feb. 5. In recent polls of likely Democratic voters, Edwards has been running third behind New York Sen. Hillary Clinton and Illinois Sen. Barack Obama.

Clinton was in Daphne on Saturday for a fundraising reception, but she did not have any public events. Both Clinton and Obama were in Alabama on March 4 to attend the Bridge Crossing Jubilee in Selma.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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