updated 6/30/2004 12:53:01 PM ET 2004-06-30T16:53:01

Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry is taking a two-day break from campaigning and will spend the time at his wife’s country estate preparing for his party’s national convention next month.

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Just four weeks remain before the July 26-29 convention in Boston, during which Kerry is expected to accept the Democratic nomination for president, and his choice for a running mate is much anticipated. He crossed paths with two potential candidates while campaigning Tuesday, though aides said he did not meet with either one.

Kerry arrived in Pittsburgh early Wednesday. The break Wednesday and Thursday will be his first weekday rest since he canceled five days of campaign events following former President Reagan’s death on June 5.

Kerry plans to return to Washington on Thursday night and embark the next day on a bus trip through the Midwest. After visiting farms and communities in Minnesota and Wisconsin, he is scheduled to end the July Fourth weekend celebrating in Iowa, where Gov. Tom Vilsack is another talked-about candidate for a running mate.

Kerry sought support from black and Hispanic voters Tuesday, pledging to ease citizenship for working immigrants and improve educational opportunities for minority and low-income students.

He spoke for nearly an hour in Chicago before the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition, the Rev. Jesse Jackson’s civil rights organization, then flew to Phoenix to address the National Council of La Raza. He told the largely Hispanic audience that within 100 days of being elected, he would send legislation to Congress to change the immigration system.

Kerry also came across two potential running mates — Rep. Dick Gephardt, D-Mo., who spoke to Rainbow/PUSH after Kerry, and Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano, who introduced him to the National Council of La Raza.

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