MANCHESTER, N.H. – New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson said he is concerned with the number of states that are trying to hold early presidential primaries – particularly populous states – because then the process would favor well-known, better-financed candidates.
“I think it is good that more diverse states are participating early and getting a say,” Richardson said in an interview. “But if we are going to be talking about states like New Jersey and California that is a whole different ball game. Though I would do well in California.”
In 2005, the Democratic National Committee set up a panel to consider how their party's presidential nominee would be chosen in 2008. Richardson said the panel did a good job of adding diversity, but never really addressed the issue of “front-loading” -- the number of states moving their primary dates near the established early ones in New Hampshire and South Carolina.
That could result in a nomination process that would be wrapped up in a matter of weeks, not months.
New Hampshire’s Secretary of State has threatened to move the state’s first-in-the-nation primary in order to preserve its special status.
Though that would violate DNC rules, Richardson said he would compete in the state anyhow. “New Hampshire is just too important,” he said.