Cabinet officials stump for GOP candidates

While Vice President Dick Cheney and President Bush are the obvious feature attractions at campaign events across the country in the dwindling days before Election Day, leading administration officials will also be scouring the land for GOP votes.

Several Cabinet secretaries are engaged in political travel, including one of the administration's most prominent Hispanics, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Mel Martinez. Martinez appeared Friday in Orlando, Fla., at an event for embattled GOP Gov. Jeb Bush. On Sunday and Monday, Martinez will participate in Republican National Committee events in Arizona and New Mexico and at a separate event Monday for former GOP state Rep. Steve Pearce, who is facing Democratic state Sen. John Arthur Smith in New Mexico's open 2nd District race. Martinez Thursday will travel to Charlotte, N.C., for an event with GOP Senate nominee Elizabeth Dole.

Commerce Secretary Donald Evans was in Missouri Friday at an event with former GOP Rep. Jim Talent, who is challenging Democratic Sen. Jean Carnahan. Evans appeared Wednesday in Iowa with GOP Rep. Greg Ganske, who is challenging Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Tom Harkin, and appeared Thursday with Sen. Tim Hutchinson, R-Ark., considered by many to be this year's most endangered GOP senator.

Labor Secretary Elaine Chao Monday will be in Oklahoma City with GOP Sen. James Inhofe, who is seeking re-election. And Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham Monday is in Detroit for an event with Michigan Lt. Gov. Dick Posthumus, the GOP candidate for governor. Abraham will also travel to Florida next Friday to appear with Republican candidates.