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Doris 'Granny D' Haddock, who ran for Senate at 94, dies

CONCORD, N.H. - Doris "Granny D" Haddock, a New Hampshire woman who walked across the country at age 89 to promote campaign finance reform and later waged a quixotic campaign for U.S. Senate, has died. She was 100.

Haddock died Tuesday night of chronic respiratory illness at her home in Dublin, N.H., said spokeswoman and family friend Maude Salinger.

In 2000, Haddock walked 3,200 miles to draw attention to campaign finance reform. In 2004, at age 94, she ran for U.S. Senate against Republican Judd Gregg. The subtitle of her autobiography, written with Dennis Burke, was "You're Never Too Old to Raise a Little Hell."

"Her age wasn't a factor in what she did," Salinger said. "She never gave up. Until the end, she advocated for public funding. She wanted people to know that democracy and government belongs to us."

Haddock worked at a shoe company for 20 years. After retiring in 1972, she became more active in community affairs. She became interested in campaign finance reform after the defeat of the first attempt of Sens. John McCain and Russ Feingold to remove unregulated "soft" money from campaigns in 1995.

Inspiration for her cross-country trek came from the Tuesday Morning Academy, a group of women in Dublin who met every Tuesday at 8 a.m. to do ballet exercises and discuss world affairs. "Sometimes I think it was a fool's errand, but I think there are more people in this country who know what campaign finance reform means since I started," she told The Associated Press in February 2000.

Covering about 10 miles a day, Haddock walked through more than 1,000 miles of desert, climbed the Appalachian Range in blizzard conditions and even skied 100 miles after snowfall made roadside walking impossible. She started in near-obscurity, but soon was discovered by local and national media.

In 2004, Haddock jumped into the Senate race after the presumptive Democratic nominee dropped out when his campaign manager was accused of financial fraud. She officially changed her name to "Granny D," but stressed that the "D" stood for "Doris," not party affiliation. She lost to Gregg 66 percent to 34 percent.

"It comes down to this - if you want something done right today, you have to run for Congress yourself - or at least send your grandmother," she said.

In recent years, she founded a group that pushed the state legislature to create the Citizen Funded Election Task Force.

She was working on a new book, "My Bohemian Century," which focuses on her college days and her Senate campaign, to be published this spring. In the dedication, Haddock writes: "You have to keep the young adventurer inside your heart alive long enough for it to someday re-emerge. It may take some coaxing and some courage, but that person is in you always - never growing old."

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