Hold your horses: Governor reins in racetrack rhetoric

By Martha Frost: QCS staff writer

Minutes before New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson led the Rattler Parade of Classes Saturday in a vintage 1966 Ford Thunderbird convertible, he suggested holding back on racetrack rhetoric.

“Talk of a track in Tucumcari is premature.” Richardson said. “We’ll wait for about a year to see the economic impact of the Hobbs track.”

“There may already be too many racetracks and casinos in New Mexico,” he said, adding, “Do they really want this?”

Concerning other projects of economic importance to Tucumcari, the governor pledged his support on the ethanol plant and the city swimming pool, saying he would recomend the necessary $150,000 funding in January.

He also responded to concerns about Cannon Air Force Base, saying its loss would hurt the region severely.

The governor, who timed his trip to Tucumcari to coincide with the Rattler Reunion, said he also attends his own high school reunions in Santa Fe.

“I don’t want to miss the parade,” Richardson concluded as he headed for a ride with Mayor Mary Mayfield and Antonio Apodaca, former protem mayor in Ronny Sanders’ steel blue convertible with the top down.