New Mexico Governor and 2008 presidential candidate Bill Richardson has joined co-candidate John Edwards in a race-for-the-women. Governor Richardson announced the "Women for Richardson" arm of his presidential campaign today – an initiative he hopes will attract the female vote with a special "platform on women's issues." Women for Richardson is comprised of an impressive array of women's advocates including Dr. Martha Burk, co-founder and President of the Center for Advancement of Public Policy; Lt. Governor of New Mexico Diane Denish; Amanda Grady, Policy Director for the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence; and former executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice New Mexico, Giovanna Rossi.
Pledging to "reach out to women across the country" using his stance on issues such as pay equity, abortion rights and domestic violence, Governor Richardson says this effort is not about appealing to a minority:
"This is not a constituency issue. This is not an issue of women being a special interest. Women are the majority in this country," Richardson said. "What I'm doing here is addressing the interests of the majority."
It's hard to argue with Richardson's advocacy on these issues. According to the press release announcing the initiative, "In New Mexico, Governor Richardson has strengthened families by creating over 90,000 high-quality jobs, raising the state minimum wage, and supporting state labor unions. He has made fighting domestic violence and crimes against women a priority. He created pre-kindergarten for four-year olds, guaranteed access to healthcare for every child under five, and created a women's health task force. In addition, Governor Richardson was honored by NARAL New Mexico as a "Champion of Choice" for his lifetime commitment to defending a woman's right to choose. As President, he will continue to fight fiercely for women and their families."
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Governor Richardson has been a staunch supporter of the right to abortion going so far as to say that, if elected president, his judicial nominees must support upholding the precedent set forth in Roe v. Wade.
For more information on Governor Bill Richardson's campaign for the presidency, visit our special presidential candidate coverage, Election 2008.