Embattled U.S. Rep. Gary Condit will break his silence on the disappearance of Washington intern Chandra levy before Labor Day and plans to run for re-election, according to aides.
The California Democrat has been avoiding the spotlight throughout the investigation. After the two largest newspapers in his district—The Modesto Bee and The Fresno Bee—called for his resignation last weekend, Condit issued his first public statement in month to say the calls were "terribly unfair and disappointing."
Instead of his usual summer fundraisers and public events, Condit has been using the time away from the public to spend "much-needed contemplative time with his family," spokeswoman Marina Ein said.
That silence will come to an end before Labor Day, according to political consultant Richie Ross, who said Friday that Condit will send a letter to his constituents and shortly thereafter schedule an interview with the media.
According to his aides, Condit plans on seeking re-election. A "Condit Country" fund-raiser to be held at the Stanislaus County Fairground is scheduled for October.
A July 20 Fox News/Opinion Dynamics poll showed that, at the time, about half of the voters in Condit's district had already decided they would not vote for him if he ran for re-election.
"I frankly think he's got a real long shot of being elected." Democratic strategist Doug Usher. "If he's holding fundraisers, he'd better raise a lot of money, because he's got a serious problem on his hands."
The "Condit Country" fundraiser is the congressman's only event scheduled for August. A steak dinner fundraiser, which in previous summers was held around this time and usually drew about 400 supporters, will be rescheduled next month, said supporter Lucille Mejia.
Political inactivity in the August recess is unusual for any congressman. In the neighboring district in the San Joaquin Valley, fellow Democrat Rep. Cal Dooley has held issue-related forums, town hall-style meetings, and meeting constituents in local businesses.
Dooley questions whether Condit can be politically active while keeping mum on the Levy disappearance.
"I think if Gary is interested in running for Congress again, I think he's obligated to speak with his constituents about his involvement with Chandra Levy and his actions to assist in efforts to locate her," Dooley said Wednesday.
Police have repeatedly said the 53-year-old married congressman is not a suspect in Levy's disappearance and that there is no proof a crime was committed.
Levy was last seen April 30 canceling her membership in a local gym. Her internship at the federal Bureau of Prisons had been abruptly terminated when she revealed that she had technically finished her graduate studies at the University of Southern California.
Computer records indicate that Levy used her computer to surf travel Web sites and sites related to Condit and local Washington parks, as well as e-mail family and friends, from about 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on May 1. Police found packed bags and Levy's wallet and identification in her apartment. There were no signs of foul play.
Condit has met with police to discuss the Levy case four times; on the third, he admitted to having an affair with the 24-year-old intern. Still, he has not spoken publicly about the relationship or the investigation.
Democratic strategist Doug Usher felt the congressman's affair with Levy didn't automatically mean an easily Republican victory, saying, "neither party has a lock on infidelity."
"I think that he's been hiding from us," said Tito Madrigal, a Republican from Modesto who said he once admired Condit but has lost respect him since he has done so little to address the scandal.
Fox News' Rick Folbaum and the Associated Press contributed to this report.