Face time with Gov. Richardson

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Gov. Bill Richardson is welcomed by supporters during the Prez on the Rez presidential candidate forum focused on American Indian issues at the Morongo Band of Mission Indians Casino Resort and Spa Conference Center in Cabazon, Calif., Thursday, Aug. 23, 2007.
(AP Photo/The Press-Enterprise, Ramon Mena Owens)
Bill Richardson
Governor, NM
Born: 11/15/1947
Birthplace: Pasedena, CA
Home: Santa Fe, NM
Religion: Catholic
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EXETER Area residents will get a chance to grill presidential candidate Bill Richardson when he holds one of his now famous "presidential job interviews."

"This will be Governor Richardson's first visit to Exeter of the campaign," said his New Hampshire spokesman, Alex Goepfert. "The 'job interview' events are an opportunity for Granite Staters to come out, meet the governor and ask questions about the issues that really matter to them."

Goepfert said since July 1, the New Mexico governor has held 33 of the interviews and other public meetings across New Hampshire, with another eight scheduled for this visit.

Richardson's presidential campaign has the support of two politically active fathers who have sons serving in Iraq.

Wil Boc, a former Dover mayor, and Peter Somssich, the Portsmouth Democratic Committee chairman, cited the candidate's position on Iraq an immediate troop withdrawal with no residual forces as key to their support, the campaign said.

Somssich told the Herald his endorsement of Richardson is a personal choice and is not meant to represent Portsmouth's Democratic Committee.

"I think my motivation was twofold: looking for a candidate who seemed to have a strong depth of experience in the issues we are concerned with and also concern for my son and his buddies in Iraq," said Somssich. "Richardson has been very forceful about trying to get them home as soon as possible without any residual forces left behind. I believe there's nothing there that needs to be protected. I want to get our men and women home as soon as we can.

"Maybe later, when things calm down, we can have an embassy presence or aid at the request of the government."

Somssich said Richardson has the experience needed to be president.

"He's smart, thoughtful and pragmatic. He's been a governor so he has executive experience."

Somssich said people focus on Richardson's membership in the National Rifle Association, but he thinks his four Nobel Peace prize nominations trump that concern.

Boc told the campaign he likes Richardson's honesty and integrity. "I think he's electable," he said. "I think he's a fresh face in politics. He doesn't give a measured answer, measuring every word to make sure it's politically correct."

Next meeting

Gov. Bill Richardson will hold a "presidential job interview" at 6:15 p.m. on Saturday in Exeter at the home of Barbara Wetherbee, 21 Heritage Way.