N.H. supporters offer praise, encouragement
John Edwards (D)
Former Senator, NC
Born: 06/10/1953
Birthplace: Seneca, SC
Home: Raleigh, NC
Religion: Methodist
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CONCORD - After spending most of the night awake and worried, Kristin Sullivan breathed a small sigh of relief Thursday as she watched an optimistic John Edwards announce the return of his wife's cancer and their determination to continue with his presidential campaign.

"There's certainly no denying the strength, fortitude, optimism and health both of them exude," Sullivan said. "I'm extremely grateful to both of them for moving forward. ... There's no doubt in my mind that they wouldn't be moving forward if they weren't capable of doing so."

Sullivan and her husband were among the earliest backers of Edwards' 2004 campaign and recently hosted a house party for him in Concord. She said the decision to keep campaigning underscored the candidate's commitment to those who face even worse hardships.

"I'd like to think I'd do the same, but I don't know that I would," she said. "I certainly would want a leader who could." Edwards' other New Hampshire supporters also offered encouragement and praise for the couple.

"I wish them as speedy a treatment and recovery as possible and leave it in their hands to make a determination on the best way to move forward," said state Sen. David Gottesman, D-Nashua.

"We love Elizabeth and John Edwards. Whatever they decision they made, we would've understood it was the best decision for them," he said. "Their decision to continue with this campaign tells me they feel they can accomplish what they set out to do." Sen. Lou D'Allesandro, a key supporter of Edwards' 2004 campaign who remains uncommitted for '08, called Mrs. Edwards a "very, very close personal friend," and said he was shocked to hear that the breast cancer she fought in 2004 and 2005 had returned in her bones.

"She's just such a great woman with so much to give," he said. "My heart breaks for the family." He said he was a bit surprised that the campaign will continue as planned.

"To some extent, yes, because she is such an integral part of the campaign," he said. "I couldn't envision the campaign without her." State Sen. Joe Foster, D-Nashua, said he was "more committed than ever" to help Edwards win the primary.

"My first concern is for Elizabeth's health, but if together, they're ready to proceed, I'm ready to proceed with them," he said.