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North Carolina: Kissell Pens Fundraising Appeal — for Bicyclist

Fundraising appeals from political candidates are a dime a dozen. But Larry Kissell (D), the teacher seeking a rematch next year with Rep. Robin Hayes (R), sent out a unique one late last week.

Kissell is seeking to raise money to pay the medical bills of Mark Ortiz, who finished fourth in the Democratic Congressional primary that Kissell won in May 2006.

According to an e-mail that Kissell sent to supporters, Ortiz, an avid bicyclist, was badly injured in a hit-and-run accident with a motorist on Nov. 6 in Harrisburg — just 15 miles short of his goal of logging 10,000 miles on his bike this year. Ortiz suffered four broken ribs, three broken vertebrae and a broken pelvis.

“Mark survived, but he has a long road to recovery and huge medical bills in front of him,” Kissell wrote. Ortiz was scheduled to undergo spinal surgery Friday, he said.

Kissell told supporters that he will be participating in a 15-mile fundraising bike ride for Ortiz on Friday, and he urged them to help.

— Josh Kurtz