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Central Ohio Congressional race gets national attention

At a mid-morning news conference on Ohio State University's main campus, the Chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, Rahm Emmanuel of Illinois, talked up candidate Mary Jo Kilroy for congress. Emmanuel says he would not be in town if Kilroy's bid to unseat republican Deoborah Pryce was not credible.

Flanked by some OSU students identified as College Democrats Emmanuel and Kilroy hone in on recent student loan legislation passed by the Republican controlled Congress.

Kilroy argued a 17-thousand dollar student loan now cost 5-thousand dollars more in interest because of GOP cuts.

Pryce characterized Kilroy's numbers as "dead wrong". She adds that she helped negotiate a reduced origination fee on direct loans that will help save OSU students six million dollars.

Pryce has won seven terms in Congress by wide margins but she says the 2006 race will be more difficult since her district is one of several in Ohio that has been targeted by the National Democratic Party.

Emmanuel is also helping the Democratic challenger running against embattled Congressman Bob Ney of Heath. He sees the two Ohio contests as part of a larger battle for checks and balances in Washington.

Although elections are still nine months away, Congressional campaigns are vying for early attention from voters.