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Jan. 7, 2008

Bill Richardson

by Kiera Zitelman, Online Editor-in-Chief
Editor's Note: Bill Richardson dropped out of the presidential race after the New Hampshire primary on Jan. 10.

Political Party: Democratic
Current Position: Governor
State: New Mexico
Political Experience: Representative from New Mexico, 1982 1996; Chief Deputy Whip, Chair of Congressional Hispanic Caucus, 1983 1985; Chair of House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Native American Affairs, 1993 1994; U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, 1997 1998; Secretary of Energy, 1998 2001; Chair of the Democratic Governors Association, 2006 present

This is not original reporting. All information has been compiled from Bill Richardson's official campaign web site.

Bill Richardson claims that he can "bring a country together that is divided and partisan," according to his campaign web site. His Hispanic background appeals to minority voters, and he has been especially attentive to Native Americans during his time in Congress. He served as the Chairman of the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Native American Affairs from 1993 to 1994. Still, Richardson is a long shot for the presidency, though, as he would only receive two percent of the vote in the Democratic presidential primary, according to a December Fox News poll.

Richardson's stances on the issues are similar to other Democratic candidates. He has a plan to de-authorize the war and withdraw all troops. He advocates spending the $10 billion a month that is currently being spent on the Iraq war on education, healthcare, terrorism and global warming. Ending genocide in Darfur is one of his priorities Richardson stresses divestment, diplomacy and deployment of a United Nations peacekeeping force as solutions. Richardson criticizes the Bush administration's "lack of realism" and suggests a foreign policy more focused on diplomacy. He supports strict enforcement of the American-Mexican border, but points out the need for immigration reform and cautions against building a fence.

Domestically, Richardson supports rural America and renewable energy. The National Environmental Trust recognized Richardson as Environmental Leader of the Year, and he promises to continue fighting for conservation of American forests. He plans to offer healthcare to all Americans without raising taxes and has expanded benefits and increased salaries for New Mexican teachers, which he promises to do on a national level if elected.

In addition, Richardson warns that action must be taken on foreclosures and financial disasters, lest the United States sink into a recession. He supports same-sex marriage and opposes discrimination against the lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender community, and discourages mistreatment and discrimination against veterans, disabled people and first responders. His support has decreased from five percent in November, its highest point since summer of 2007, according to a Fox News poll. Richardson's Hispanic background and stances on the issues may help him in the upcoming primary elections, but currently he has little chance of winning. Despite his low support in preliminary polls, Richardson remains optimistic about the future.



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