Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Local Man Powwows With Gore.(Metro & New Mexico)

Byline: Dan McKay Journal Staff Writer

Candidate Asks About Health Care Costs

Sunday was a long day for Joseph Austin.

The Los Ranchos de Albuquerque resident traveled to Florida this weekend for meetings with Vice President Al Gore and his campaign advisers. Austin, a 32-year-old construction worker, is one of 12 "real" people tapped to help Gore prepare for Tuesday's debate with Texas Gov. George W. Bush, the Republican candidate for president.

Austin said he had lunch with Gore on Sunday, discussing affordable health care, Social Security and other topics with the Democratic candidate for president.

"He pretty much asked all the questions," Austin said Sunday during a telephone interview from Sarasota, Fla. …

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