Ada Fisher spoke to about 150 people at the start of the Thursday fund-raiser for the Durham County Republican Party, which had scheduled Dole as its keynote speaker.

Beforehand, Fisher said she took up her cause with county party chairman Asa Spalding.

"He called me at 8:30 p.m. last night, and I gave him the devil," Fisher said. "I gave him a piece of my mind."

In her speech, delivered as party faithful formed a line around the dining room to sample the buffet, Fisher broached the familiar campaign topic of Dole's years living in Kansas and Washington.

"I say without apologies that I'm not the candidate who came home to run," she said.

At the same event, Chase White, campaign manager for Senate GOP candidate Jim Snyder, passed out campaign literature criticizing Dole. Several candidates for other offices also spoke.

Earlier in the week, Fisher accused party leaders of undemocratic conduct by repeatedly rebuffing her bids to address GOP gatherings that feature Dole, including an event Monday.

She and other GOP candidates have complained the party is giving preferential treatment to the best-known name in the primary, and that Dole is getting unusual help from party leaders, including President Bush.

Arriving later at Thursday's fund-raiser, Dole was introduced by Spaulding as "hopefully" the state's next U.S. Senator. She then went on to praise Bush for his military budget and to speak about the recession's effect on North Carolina.

Event organizer Tom Davidson said the campaigning was inappropriate because Dole was the keynote speaker and the fund-raiser was for the county GOP, not Dole.

"I didn't think this was the time or the place," he said of White's campaigning.

Senate candidates are running to fill the seat vacated by retiring Sen. Jesse Helms. Primary dates have not been set.