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          Front Page  news  state

Martinez Wants To Debate Richardson

By Sean Olson
Journal Staff Writer
          Susana Martinez is challenging Gov. Bill Richardson to a duel.
        The Republican candidate for governor wants to debate Richardson, who cannot run for re-election this year due to a two-term limit, on television sometime before the November election.
        The challenge comes after the first debate between Martinez and Democrat candidate Diane Denish on Thursday night, where Martinez said Richardson's education policies had "failed." Denish has served as lieutenant governor with Richardson since 2003. Richardson responded that Martinez "doesn't get it."
        "If Bill Richardson wants to defend Diane Denish and their administration's abysmal record, he shouldn't hide behind press releases," Martinez said. "I am challenging Bill Richardson to a televised debate about whether we should continue the failed policies of the Richardson-Denish administration, or seek real change."
        Richardson is in Cuba and could not respond to the challenge, but his spokesman, Gilbert Gallegos, had this to say:
        "After watching Susana's futile efforts to defend her support for private-school vouchers and the sweetheart deals she personally approved to divert taxpayer money to a political supporter, it's difficult to believe she really wants another debate," Gallegos said. "This is a stunt by someone who is not a serious leader."

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