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First Lady campaigns for local Congresswoman

While Congresswoman Deborah Pryce faces her toughest opponent since she took office in 1992 she welcomed a friendly face to Columbus.

"A lot of people in Washington don't want to see me return," Pryce said. "And any of you who have turned on the TV lately or picked up your phone understand that. That's why it's so important that we are here to be honored with a very, very, very special guest. And thank you for honoring her with your presence. Mrs. Laura Bush is a class act."

About two hundred people showed up to hear First Lady Laura Bush speak at the fundraiser. Mrs. Bush said Pryce's advancement as the highest ranking Republican woman to ever serve in the U.S. House deems her a role model for young women around the country.

"Deborah has been a passionate advocate for the people of Ohio," Bush said. "She represents your values and your priorities to create jobs and economic opportunity for every person in Ohio, to protect our nation, and to help our of our children to grow up to be healthy and successful."

Pryce face popular Democrat and Franklin County Commissioner Mary Jo Kilroy in November. Kilroy says Pryce is out of touch with what the people of central Ohio need.

"I think that this Congress has absolutely the wrong priorities," Kilroy said. "And I think that Deborah Pryce has been in Washington too long and is out of step with Central Ohio values."

Kilory said she thinks Ohioans want a congressperson that works for them and not for big companies.

Mrs. Bush said Pryce has made Ohio's youth a top priority and has been an advocate for welfare reform. The First Lady also praised Pryce for her support of tax cuts.

"Deborah's leadership was also instrumental in helping pass President Bush's jobs and growth package," Bush said. "The tax cuts that jump started our nation's economy. And she supports making those tax cuts permanent."

While Kilroy welcomed the First Lady, she says Washington leaders could take a lesson from local governments, like Franklin County, that continues to have a balanced budget.

"No matter how many times she comes here, or how much money she and George Bush raises for Deborah Pryce, they can't escape years of failed policies, including fiscal policies that have led us a deficit," Kilroy said. "And you know, we need to take, get that budget under control, to have a balanced budget."

Earlier today Mrs. Bush took part at a roundtable celebrating teachers at the Thurber House with the U.S. Secretary of Education.