Updated: May 30, 2020 06:29 PM
Created: May 30, 2020 06:21 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — It’s been nearly ten years since Bill Richardson served as New Mexico’s governor, but even though he’s not in the Roundhouse, he says people still reach out.
"New Mexico has been very good to me. I've been out of office, I'm not in politics, but I still get calls returned and people still call me to try to help—businesses and individuals—even though I have no power,” Richardson said.
Richardson said the latest call for help came from a few restaurant owners across the state who are feeling the pinch from COVID-19.
"I saw a lot of people hurting. I saw a lot of businesses not open. I saw very few people on the streets,” he said.
The restaurant owners that Richardson spoke with wanted a game plan to reopen, so they asked Richardson to set up a line of communication with Gov. Lujan Grisham.
"I've been trying to mediate a little bit, not negotiate. Bringing businesses, mayors together with the governor,” Richardson said.
KOB 4 reached out to the governor’s officer and a spokesperson sent a statement that said the governor has been working with restaurant owners and other businesses since the pandemic started.
"She did not need the former governor to tell her to continue doing that,” the statement read in part.
"I give credit to the businesses. I give credit to the governor. I just put them together and made some suggestions,” Richardson added.
The former governor said he fully supports Gov. Lujan Grisham and her guidelines, but said he believes it's time to reopen the economy in order to protect small, rural towns.
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