PORTSMOUTH — Democratic presidential candidate Bill Richardson will be the featured speaker at the Oct. 12 Portsmouth Democrats' annual banquet.
According to Tom Slater, member of the executive committee for Portsmouth Democrats, Richardson, the New Mexico governor, was chosen in part because he was the only one of the Democratic candidates who responded to their invitation.
"While preparing for our annual banquet, we decided it would be nice to have a candidate come and speak," said Slater. "We invited every candidate, Hillary, Edwards, Obama, all of them, and said the first one to answer will be accepted as the speaker. The rest can come but not speak. We waited three to four months, and Richardson called. The rest never answered at all."
That being said, Slater is backing Richardson for President.
"I am the point person for the banquet's organization, but I back him because I think he's the only one of all candidates who has international diplomatic experience, plus he's been a governor and has executive experience."
On Wednesday, when John Edwards visited the Herald, Slater stood outside handing out flyers for Richardson.
As to the topics for the banquet, Slater said he can talk about anything he wants to.
"I'm assuming he will take questions afterwards," said Slater. "We are planning to have at least one Iraq combat veteran there, an anti-war veteran."
Slater said Richardson has had a distinguished career first as a Congressman, then UN ambassador, Secretary of Energy and now as governor. As a result of his extensive international diplomatic efforts he has been nominated four times for the Nobel Peace Prize.
GO & DO
The Portsmouth Democrats banquet, including a social hour at 6 p.m. and dinner at 7 p.m., will be held at the Sheraton Harborside Hotel in Portsmouth and is open to the public. Cost is $35. Early reservations are encouraged. Contact Tom Slater at 418-8796 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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