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follows Hillary in announcing run for White House

follows Hillary in announcing run for White House


New Mexico's Democratic governor, Bill Richardson, follows Hillary Clinton in declaring his intention to join a crowded and groundbreakingly diverse group of presidential contenders.

Bill Richardson, the high-profile Democratic governor of New Mexico, took the first step Sunday toward an expected White House run in 2008. Speaking to the Associated Press, Richardson promoted his extensive experience in Washington and on the world political stage; if elected, he would be the first Hispanic president.

"What this country needs is bipartisanship and to bring back civility" in government, Richardson said. "I've had cabinet experience. I've been U.N. ambassador. I've actually done what a lot of candidates give speeches on." Richardson was Energy Department secretary under former president Bill Clinton.

Richardson joins a crowded and groundbreakingly diverse field of presidential contenders in a fast-developing campaign. On Saturday, New York senator Hillary Rodham Clinton declared her intention to be the first female president. "It'll be a great contest with a lot of talented people, and I'm very confident," she said. "I'm in, I'm in it to win, and that's what I intend to do," she said, according to the AP.

Clinton's announcement, while widely anticipated, was nonetheless historic in a fast-developing political race. Last week, Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois jumped in; he is a formidable contender who would be the first black commander in chief.

Other Democratic contenders include former Iowa governor Tom Vilsack; Connecticut senator Chris Dodd; Ohio representative Dennis Kucinich; and former North Carolina senator John Edwards, the party's 2004 vice presidential nominee. Delaware senator Joe Biden has said he will run and planned to formalize his intentions soon. Massachusetts senator John Kerry, the party's 2004 standard-bearer, is also contemplating another run.

Saturday saw the entry of another contender for the Republican nomination as Kansas senator Sam Brownback joined the 2008 U.S. presidential race. An antigay favorite of the religious right, Brownback calls himself a "full-scale Ronald Reagan conservative." "I am a conservative, and I'm proud of being a conservative," the AP quoted him as saying on Saturday. (The Advocate)

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