Rep. Gary Condit's wife broke her silence for the first time since her husband's affair with a missing intern became public six months ago, telling a crowd: "I'm behind Gary 100 percent and I hope you will be, too."

Carolyn Condit spoke Wednesday to 600 people -- including two who are running for her husband's House seat -- as she accepted a plaque honoring the Democratic congressman's contributions to the future University of California campus in Merced.

Condit did not attend because Congress is in session.

The university also honored two of his potential opponents: Republican state Sen. Dick Monteith and state Assemblyman Dennis Cardoza.

Condit has not formally announced his plans for re-election but is collecting signatures to waive a ballot fee.

GOP City Councilman Bill Conrad and Democrat Tom Ciccarelli, head of a Modesto charity, have also announced they are running.

Chandra Levy, a former government intern, vanished from Washington in May. Police have said Condit, 53, is not considered a suspect in the 24-year-old's disappearance. He has acknowledged the two had a relationship.