I strongly disagree with Sen. Mark Dayton (D-Minn.) on his decision to close his offices through Nov. 2 because of fears of a terrorist attack [front page, Oct. 14]. Will Sen. John F. Kerry, whose office is in the same building, close up shop while he's on the campaign trail? I hope not.

I expect that he will do exactly what President Bush and all of our leaders -- Republicans and Democrats -- told the American public we needed to do in the days following Sept. 11, 2001: Go on living your life. To do anything less, went the argument, was to give in to the terrorists and, in some way, let them "win."

Closing a Senate office because the terrorism threat level is high sends the wrong message to everyone: the terrorists and their supporters; other senators, staff and constituents; and the general public at home and abroad. It also implies that the millions of dollars spent on increased security measures for the Capitol and its surroundings have been for naught.

To Mr. Dayton, I say: I am a resident of the District of Columbia and live and work 12 blocks from the Capitol. I'm not running. Why are you?

LISA M. CANNON

Washington