Nevada Democrat forms group to draft Richardson for president |

Nevada Democrat forms group to draft Richardson for president

Associated Press

LAS VEGAS – A former aide to incoming Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is forming a group to draft New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson to seek the Democratic presidential nomination in the early caucus state of Nevada.

Reynaldo Martinez, of Incline Village, said he would lead a committee of 70 people to draw Richardson into the process leading to the January 2008 Nevada caucus.

“We call on Gov. Richardson to run for president,” said Martinez, who provided a list of supporters he said represented blacks, Hispanics, Asian-Americans, “significant Democratic Party activists” and environmentalists. “He has always been good to Nevada.”

Martinez said he had not spoken with Richardson, and Richardson was not aware of Martinez’ effort until Thursday, said Amanda Cooper, manager of Richardson’s successful campaign for re-election last November.

Richardson won’t decide until early next year whether to run for president, Cooper said, adding that the Democratic governor welcomed grass roots support.

Richardson visited Nevada several times to stump for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Dina Titus during Titus’ failed bid for election in November.

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Reid spokesman Jon Summers said Martinez’ previous work for Reid should not suggest that Reid, D-Nev., backed Richardson.

“The senator has said several times he won’t endorse anyone in the primary because he wants every candidate to come to Nevada on a level playing field,” Summers said.

The Democratic National Committee this year made Nevada the second state to hold a presidential nomination contest, putting it after the Iowa caucus and before the New Hampshire primary.