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Friday, November 10, 2006
Hoyer, Murtha campaign for number-two spot
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Dueling 'Dear Colleague' letters circulated on Capitol Hill Friday, as House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Maryland, and Rep. Jack Murtha, D-Pennsylvania, sought to showcase support for their respective majority leader bids.

This afternoon, Hoyer released a letter signed by 21 of 41 incoming House freshmen to demonstrate that he enjoys a majority of support from the new lawmakers. This letter comes after two other letters supporting Hoyer's candidacy were released earlier this week -- one signed by six young House Democrats and the other signed by eight senior Democrats.

Two separate letters supporting Murtha's bid for the leadership post also were released Friday -- signed by 10 members collectively. Both letters tout the close relationship between Murtha and presumed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California.

"It is Jack who has worked so closely with Nancy Pelosi in pressing for the redeployment of our troops from Iraq and in outlining the changes she intends to implement in the new Congress," reads one of the letters signed by six lawmakers.

Pelosi has not publicly declared whom she plans to support in the leadership race that could get heated and divisive as Democrats prepare to take control of the House for the first time in a decade.

-- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney
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