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Former senator Edwards' speech to Alabama Legislature canceled

MONTGOMERY (AP) — John Edwards' speech to a joint session of the Alabama Legislature on Thursday has been canceled, but the Democratic presidential candidate still plans to attend a fundraising reception in Montgomery.

The former U.S. senator from North Carolina had accepted an invitation from legislative leaders to address a joint session at 10 a.m. Thursday.

But on Tuesday, the Senate discussed possibly not meeting Thursday because some senators are leaving that day for a state-sponsored trade mission to Cuba.

With the prospects of a joint session looking uncertain, Edwards made other plans for Thursday morning. Then Tuesday afternoon, the Senate finally agreed to meet at 10 a.m. Thursday, but by then it was too late for Edwards to reverse his plans, said Jeff Woodard, aide to House Speaker Seth Hammett.

Joint session off

Senate staff members also confirmed the joint session was off.

Former Lt. Gov. Jere Beasley said the presidential candidate was still planning to attend a $1,000-per-person fundraising reception at noon Thursday at Beasley's law firm in downtown Montgomery.

So far this spring, two presidential candidates have addressed joint sessions of the Legislature: former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Arizona Sen. John McCain, both Republicans.

Alabama's presidential preference primary is scheduled for Feb. 5.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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