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Edwards Holds Fundraisers In Raleigh

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Senator John Edwards wasted no time hitting the fundraising circuit after announcing he will run for President.

Saturday, he made special appearances at two major events, gaining new supporters along the way. He was scheduled to hit four more cities on Sunday and Monday.

Surrounded by thunderous applause at Saturday's kick-off event at a local pub, which included former Gov. Jim Hunt, former Secretary of State Rufus Edmisten and state auditor Ralph Campbell, Edwards greeted hundreds of excited supporters with a smile and a handshake. He thanked them for joining him "at the very beginning of the road to the White House."

Edwards pledged to advance the cause of civil rights in his campaign. He urged young people to join him.

"We're going to show the country what the real North Carolina is," Edwards told the packed room of supporters.

Edwards later attended a private, $2,000-a-person fundraiser at the Raleigh home of Jeannette Hyde, former ambassador to Barbados,and her husband, Wallace. About 200 people attended.

Edwards was scheduled to attend fundraisers in New Orleans, Birmingham, Ala., Atlanta and Nashville, Tenn., on Sunday andMonday.

A multimillionaire trial lawyer who was elected to theSenate in 1998, Edwards announced Thursday that he would seek theDemocratic nomination for president. He has since attackedPresident Bush's economic stimulus package as a plan that wouldhelp the wealthy without reviving the economy.

"If this is what he thinks is going to help regular people intimes of an economic downturn, it just shows how out of touch heis," Edwards said in remarks his campaign staff said were tapedfor broadcast Sunday on ABC's "This Week."

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