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Bush to visit Alabama

The White House confirmed Thursday that President Bush will be making an appearance in Birmingham on Monday.

Bush will be in the state to speak to various business leaders about the economy, and the president will also attend a fund-raiser for Congressman Bob Riley, who is challenging Gov. Don Siegelman in the gubernatorial campaign. Tickets are $1,000 a person for the fund-raiser.

Bush's first stop in the state will be at the Alys Stephens Center, which is the performing arts center at the University of Alabama-Birmingham.

A spokesperson for UAB said The White House is still in the process of making the determination which business leaders will hear Bush's comments.

The visit by Bush to UAB will be followed by a "Salute to George W. Bush" from Riley, to be held at the Birmingham-Jefferson Civic Center.

Tickets to the noon fund-raiser are $1,000, but with a $50,000 donation, contributors can attend a VIP reception with Bush at 10:30 a.m. and have their pictures taken with the president.

Organizers say the Bush event is aimed at helping Riley catch up with Siegelman's fundraising. The last campaign reports, released May 30, showed Siegelman with $4.2 million and Riley with $561,661.

Bush was in Birmingham last summer for a fund-raiser that added $1.7 million to the campaign chest of Sen Jeff Sessions, who is seeking re-election this fall.

Riley's campaign manager said he expects more than 1,000 people to attend the Bush luncheon.