Former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson dead at 75

Bill Richardson, a former two-term Democratic governor of New Mexico and later U.S. ambassador to the United Nations has died. He was 75. The Richardson Center for Global Engagement, which he founded, said in a statement Saturday that he died in his sleep at his home in Chatham, Massachusetts. “Governor Richardson passed away peacefully in his sleep last night. He lived his entire life in the service of others – including both his time in government and his subsequent career helping to free people held hostage or wrongfully detained abroad. There was no person that Governor Richardson would not speak with if it held the promise of returning a person to freedom. The world has lost a champion for those held unjustly abroad and I have lost a mentor and a dear friend,” said Mickey Bergman, vice president of the Richardson Center. “Right now our focus is on supporting his family, including his wife Barbara of over 50 years, who was with him when he passed. We will share further information as it becomes available,” he added.  Sen. Ben Ray Luján, D-N.M., issued a statement calling Richardson a “giant in public service and government.”  “In his post-government career, he was trusted to handle some of the most sensitive diplomatic crises, and he did so with great success. Here in New Mexico, we will always remember him as our Governor. He never stopped fighting for the state he called home,” Luján said.  “Governor Richardson was a close friend who held the same House seat that I was elected to. He knew how to get things done, and he worked closely with my late father in the Legislature. “His passing is incredibly heartbreaking for so many New Mexicans who knew and respected him. He leaves behind a legacy that will never be matched, and one that New Mexicans will always take pride in. My prayers are with Barbara, the Richardson family, and all New Mexicans. His memory will always be a blessing.” The Associated Press contributed to this report. This is a developing story and will be updated.
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