Ambassador Nancy Soderberg, a key figure on Northern Ireland in the Clinton White House, is running for election for the Florida State Senate District 4 in Jacksonville, Florida.
She is facing Aaron Bean, the Republican who spent $4.5 million on his primary race and is the favorite to win the seat.
Soderberg, 53, was a critical figure in the Northern Ireland issue as the person responsible for handling the Gerry Adams outreach for the administration throughout 1993 and 1994 in the lead-up to the IRA ceasefire. She was the No 3 person in the National Security Council at the time. Her recommendation to the president to give Adams the visa was a critical factor in its success.
She has since gone on to a distinguished career as an ambassador, professor, foreign policy expert, and CEO of Soderberg Solutions.
She is being supported in her bid by President Clinton and several leading Irish American Democrats.
Forget the blarney! What it actually costs to live in Ireland