New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, the chairman of the Democratic Governors Association, says the organization will plow more money into the Iowa governor’s race because it’s part of a Democratic party strategy to win the White House in 2008.
Iowa hosts the lead-off contest in the presidential nominating process and has been a key state in the past two presidential elections because both political parties are competitive here. “The path to the American presidency is in Iowa. This is a great tradition of a state that is grassroots and to have a Democratic governor in Iowa like Chet Culver is one of our main objectives in the country,” Richardson says.
The Democratic Governors already gave Chet Culver — the Democratic candidate in Iowa — half a million dollars in June. Last night, the Republican Governors Association announced they were giving Iowa GOP nominee Jim Nussle half a million, too. Democrats intend to up the ante, so to speak. Twenty-two states have Democrats as governor today and Richardson says the party’s goal is to increase that to as many as 27 with this November’s election. “We believe that Iowa is the centerpiece of that effort,” Richardson says.
Richardson contends Republican candidates throughout the country will be dogged by President Bush and the record of the Republican-led congress. “The war in Iraq, the gridlock in congress, the fact that the congress hasn’t acted on immigration, on energy, on health care…It’s going to affect state races and I believe it’s going to affect and help the Democratic party possibly win the House, possibly win the Senate and almost for certain get a majority of governorships,” Richardson says.
Richardson, a former U.S. Energy Secretary and U.S. Ambassador at the United Nations, says he hasn’t decided whether he’ll run for president in 2008. “My own aspirations right now (are) to get myself re-elected as governor of New Mexico. I’m chairing the Democratic Governors to help Chet Culver, to get 26 governorships and then after that I am going to make a decision about any other race,” Richardson says. “I have not decided about an ’08 presidential race but you know the path to the presidency is through Iowa and obviously that’s another reason why I’m here.”
This morning, Richardson campaigned with Democratic gubernatorial candidate Chet Culver and met with Hispanic activists in Des Moines. This afternoon, Richardson will appear at a labor convention in Waterloo.