Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Dems Air Presidential Pitches to Hispanics.(Final)

Byline: Loie Fecteau Journal Politics Writer

PHOENIX -- Six Democratic presidential hopefuls took aim at the immigration policies and tax-cut package pushed by President Bush as they reached out Saturday to Hispanic elected officials from across the country.

The more than two-hour forum was moderated by New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, who called it "historic" because of its focus on issues of importance to Hispanics, the fastest growing minority in the country.

"This is about Latinos taking their right and proper role in American society," Richardson told several hundred members of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials, or NALEO. The forum of Democratic presidential candidates was held in cooperation with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.

"Hispanics will be playing a key role (in 2004), not just in battleground states, but in other states as well," Richardson said. …

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