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Published March 23, 2005 at 5:00 p.m.

Ann Lewis had stiff competition Friday night in Burlington. The director of communications for Friends of Hillary, who also served in the Clinton White House from 1997 to 2000, was up against UVM basketball's big game against Syracuse. Lewis was here to pay tribute to Vermont Senate President Pro Tem Peter Welch and longtime Democratic Party activists Vi and Ned Coffin, the 2005 recipients of the David W. Curtis Leadership Award. Lewis' Bush-bashing speech was punctuated by cheers, but not all of them were for her. While she was speaking, about 40 Dems stayed in the lobby to watch the Catamounts beat the Orangemen in an overtime nail-biter.