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Clinton Releases New Ad In South Carolina

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton launched her second radio ad Monday in early voting South Carolina, touting her plan to make college more affordable and preschool available for all children.

"We have many children who are poor, who are sick, who are neglected," the New York senator says in the 60-second ad airing statewide. "I think education is the passport to opportunity."

An announcer says Clinton "knows that South Carolina's children are struggling to get a decent education, a good job, a shot at the future." Clinton wants to improve childcare, health care and education for all children, the ad says.

Last week, the front-runner proposed expanding a tax credit for students and their families to make college more affordable, along with $250 million in grants for colleges and universities that develop programs to boost graduation rates, particularly for low-income and minority students.

The South Carolina ad highlights Clinton's work 35 years ago with the Washington-based Children's Defense Fund, where she was a staff attorney after graduating Yale Law School. The private, nonprofit group's mission is to serve as a voice for children, especially for the poor, minorities and disabled.

Clinton's campaign declined to say how long the ad would run or how much it cost.

The senator's first ad, aired last month, also referenced education in South Carolina. She said children in the state's so-called "Corridor of Shame," a nickname given to poor, rural school districts along Interstate 95, are invisible to President Bush.

The corridor is where several school districts have sued the state, saying the way it pays for schools is unfair.

Last week, Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards visited two schools along the corridor touting his plans for education, which also include preschool for all 4-year-olds and free college tuition.

Clinton also picked up the endorsement of state Rep. Harold Mitchell, a Democrat who had previously backed Illinois Sen. Barack Obama for the White House, the (Spartanburg) Herald-Journal reported in Monday's editions. Mitchell said Clinton's work on environmental justice and legislation she introduced in the Senate that would set aside $1 billion to build 1.5 million new housing units for low-income families led him to change his endorsement, the newspaper reported.

A message left by The Associated Press at Mitchell's home and office Monday was not immediately returned.