Annual Fund-Raiser Is Clearest Sign That Condit Is Running for Re-Election

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In the clearest sign yet that embattled Rep. Gary Condit will seek re-election, a spokeswoman on Wednesday confirmed that his annual popular "Condit Country" fund-raiser is still on.

Spokeswoman Marina Ein said the annual $35-a-head barbecue is planned for October, despite calls for his resignation in the wake of his affair with an intern who vanished.

Chief of Staff Mike Lynch has said all along that Condit would seek re-election, but it was unclear what efforts the congressman was making to run again.

He held a $250-a-plate fund-raiser in July that was scheduled before the controvethe August recess from Congress.

Since Modesto intern Chandra Levy vanished from Washington, D.C., on May 1, Condit has been criticized for not immediately disclosing the nature of their relationship to police and for not speaking with voters.

Condit, 53, confirmed he had an affair with Levy, 24, during a third interview with police, according to a police source. Investigators have said Condit is not a suspect in her disappearance.

The two largest circulation daily newspapers in Condit's district — The Modesto Bee and The Fresno Bee — both called for his resignation in editorials Sunday and his hometown weekly, the Ceres Courier, ran a similar editorial last week.

But Condit appears undaunted, saying in a written statement that the Bee newspapers were unfair for not waiting to hear his side of the story at the conclusion of the Levy investigation. He said the Courier has been a longtime partisan foe.

Voters in the district, who have seen their favorite son the subject of 24-hour news for months, have been mixed in their support.

Some have called for his resignation, but others continue to stand by their man.

"I think he's done a hell of a job for Ceres," said Margie Smith, 61. "I think it's too bad they have to publicize his personal life."