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Florida's Katherine Harris visits Capitol Hill


From Ted Barrett
CNN Washington

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Florida recount figure Katherine Harris had to wait at the security checkpoints on Capitol Hill Wednesday -- points she hopes to glide past next year as a newly elected member of Congress from the sunshine state's 13th district.

The Republican Florida Secretary of State discussed campaign issues with several members as she made the rounds on the Hill.

She arrived for a meeting in the Rayburn House Office Building minutes before another secretary of state, U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, arrived to brief the International Relations Committee on President Bush's recent trip to Russia.

Harris will face computer consultant Chester Flake in a September primary for the seat currently occupied by retiring Republican Rep. Dan Miller.

"We're running like we're a million miles behind," said Harris, flanked by two campaign aides, in a hurried conversation as she made her way through the Rayburn building.

"And no one outworks us," she said. "We're walking door to door, doing town halls, coffees all over the place. It's going well."

Her first stop Wednesday afternoon was the office of Rep. Curt Weldon. She got a tutorial from the Pennsylvania Republican -- known for his expertise on Russia and the military -- on issues related to the environment, veterans affairs, and firefighters. Weldon was once a volunteer firefighter, an aide explained.

Harris, whose arrival drew the attention of passers-by, said she has not made many visits out of the state since announcing her campaign.

"Most of my time is spent working as secretary of state, that's my first priority. And every weekend I'm in the district" (campaigning), she said.




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