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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.