Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Gore Seeks N.M. Worker's Advice.

Byline: Loie Fecteau Journal Politics Writer

* South Valley man one of 12 'real' people helping Democrat prepare for Tuesday debate in Florida

A New Mexico construction worker is one of 12 "real" people chosen by Vice President Al Gore to help him prepare for his first debate against Texas Gov. George W. Bush.

Joseph Austin, who lives with his wife, Cherie, and their 2-year-old son, Noah, in the South Valley outside Albuquerque, learned earlier this week he had been picked to help Gore get ready for Tuesday's debate in Boston. Austin and his family met Gore when he campaigned in New Mexico in late August.

"I never thought in my lifetime I'd be doing something like this," said Austin, 32, who works at David Montoya Construction Co. in Albuquerque.

"I'm just stunned and amazed," Austin said Thursday. …

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