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Lawmaker backs Richardson

Assemblyman Mo Denis, D-Las Vegas, announced Monday he is supporting Bill Richardson for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Denis, one of the few Nevada Hispanics in elected office, said he met with Richardson, who hopes to become the first Hispanic president, and was won over when the New Mexico governor was in Las Vegas on Saturday.

"I believe that he has the skills and the experience that we need here in the country and that he will take us where we need to be," Denis said. In particular, he said, he liked Richardson’s views on education.

Denis said he identified with Richardson as a Hispanic and was convinced that as a Westerner the governor understood Nevada’s particular issues.

In the Assembly, Denis, a computer technician, represents an urban district that is 70 percent Hispanic. He has served two terms.

Richardson said Denis’ support "means that I have momentum, particularly in the Hispanic community."

The candidate was in Las Vegas again Monday but did no campaign events, just private meetings and a fundraiser.

"I was very proud to get Mo Denis’ endorsement because he’s a grass-roots politician," Richardson said in a conference call with Nevada reporters. "I need to mobilize the Latino vote in Nevada to do well here. I think we’re starting to see that."

New York Sen. Hillary Clinton is the candidate with the most endorsements from prominent Nevadans and legislators by a wide margin. But Richardson’s recent swing through town also netted the endorsement of state Sen. Maggie Carlton, D-Las Vegas.

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