NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – Former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson passed away Friday night at the age of 75. Richardson was elected as New Mexico’s 30th governor, holding office from 2003 to 2011.

Political leaders and groups from across the country shared statements on his passing. Statements from some of the political leaders are listed below.

 Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s statement:

“New Mexico, our country, and, frankly, the entire world lost a champion today. Bill Richardson was a titan among us, fighting for the little guy, world peace, and everything in between.  

“He was a visionary who saw the potential of our great state before so many others did. He saw us taking on Hollywood and reaching for the stars, launching both the film and space industries that continue to reap significant economic benefits today. His reputation preceded him around the globe: Bill Richardson is someone who gets things done.  

“For my own part, Bill was a mentor and advisor who was instrumental in my own journey into elected office. He was a steadfast friend who celebrated my successes, and someone I could turn to in those moments when leading is particularly challenging. 

“I am immeasurably grateful to have known such a giant among men. 

“I offer my most sincere condolences to his wife, Barbara, his family, friends and all those who had the honor of working with him over the years to make our world a better place for all.”  

Sen. Ben Ray Luján’s statement:

“Governor Richardson was a giant in public service and government – serving as a Member of Congress United Nations Ambassador, Cabinet Secretary, and Governor. 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.”

“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.”

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Democratic Party of New Mexico’s statement:

“It is a sad day for New Mexico Democrats as we remember the life and mourn the passing of Governor Bill Richardson. Governor Richardson was a larger-than-life public figure who always put public service first. As a Congressman, Ambassador, Secretary of Energy, Diplomat, and Governor, he had many roles throughout his legendary career as a statesman, but we will always remember him foremost as someone who was always eager to help people and loved New Mexico. Our thoughts are with his family and everyone who knew him at this time.”

Rep. Melanie Stansbury’s statement:

“Gov. Bill Richardson has left an indelible mark on New Mexico politics, from his time in Congress, to his two terms as Governor, his service as Secretary of Energy, and as Ambassador and international negotiator. He lived big, dedicated his life to public service, and will be forever remembered. Rest In Peace Governor. My thoughts and prayers are with all who are grieving today.”

Rep. Gabe Vasquez’s statement:

“Governor Bill Richardson was a titan in New Mexico and abroad. Richardson dedicated more than 30 years of his life to public service as a Congressman, Ambassador, Governor and U.S. Secretary of Energy. Just this week, he was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize for his work solving some of the most difficult hostage negotiations in American history.

I mourn the passing of this New Mexico legend, one of the most powerful Hispanics in politics that this nation has seen. Today, we reflect on his decades of service and for always proudly representing New Mexico.”

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Sen. Michael Padilla’s statement:

“We lost a great win today. Former governor Bill Richardson did a lot to move New Mexico forward, represent Americans across the globe, and was a diplomat and statesman. I will miss his friendship.”

Retired State Sen. Dede Feldman’s statement:

“NM has lost a great champion. Bill Richardson was the strongest governor New Mexico has ever seen– it’s why he attracted crowds & also detractors. His legacy is everywhere-from the Spaceport, Rail Runner to the film industry & push for alternative energy. RIP Bill, hugs to nearest.”

Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller’s statement:

“Bill was a giant in New Mexico modern history and led our state into the national and international leadership spotlight like no one else before.

From the Rail Runner, to the Spaceport, to green chile diplomacy, to hostage releases; his leadership carried us to and from D.C. and across the globe.  

From Congress to his cabinet posts, to Governor, to his Presidential run, he had a rare combination in public service—the ability to push a bold vision and powerful negotiating skills for making things happen. 

What many may not have seen was also how much he developed those around him. He hired really good people, and took risks on young folks in leadership roles, and he loved every day of public life. The ups and the downs and big issues and small, he loved La Politica and all its players. 

As a young college kid, I flew home once on the same plane as him, and his greeting at the airport was almost of sports celebrity, mix of local hero and family coming home. Later in my career as State Senator, I had the fortune to talk international affairs on slow legislative days, then tussle with him often over governance reform bills the next.  

Always, even though we disagreed at times, he taught me the valuable lesson of compromise, making a deal to move the ball forward. It’s something I appreciate and remember to this day.  

From the countries he worked in, the lives he changed and brought home to their families, to millions of Americans who got to know him, to us in New Mexico, we will miss Bill deeply. We are keeping his family in our prayers during this time.”

Bernalillo County District Attorney Sam Bregman’s statement:

“Bill Richardson was not only a leader, but an amazing friend.  My wife Jackie and I were shocked and saddened to hear of his passing this morning.

He was a great humanitarian who did so much for the State of New Mexico, for this country and people throughout the world.  Just last week, he was nominated for another Nobel Peace Prize for his work as a global crisis negotiator. Bill Richardson was a lifelong public servant.

He never stopped working.  He was full of energy, wit and humor. 

On a personal note, I will miss his friendship.  We frequently traveled together to baseball games to watch the Houston Astros take on the Red Sox.  There was plenty of banter and laughter on those trips. 

Those are great memories Jackie and I will treasure forever. 

You will be missed, my friend.”

Former President Barack Obama’s statement:

“As a member of Congress, a Cabinet member, a Governor, and as an Ambassador, Bill Richardson was one of the most distinguished public servants of our time. He was a tireless diplomat, the type of advocate who brought a glimmer of hope – and in many cases freedom – to those Americans detained abroad under the most trying circumstances. I was grateful for his counsel over the years, and Michelle and I send our love to his wife Barbara and his entire family.”

Statement from Spaceport America officials:

“Governor Richardson’s belief in the future of New Mexico is reflected in Spaceport America’s journey in developing technologies, companies, and economic opportunity for the citizens of our state and all mankind.

“During his time in office, Governor Richardson had a vital and profound impact on the creation of the spaceport. It can well be argued that the spaceport would not exist without his vision, passion, belief in the potential of New Mexico, and the tireless work he put in to make it a reality. He will be greatly missed.”

Las Cruces Mayor Ken Miyagishima’s statement:

“I am saddened to hear that my good friend, recently nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, has passed away. This is a massive loss for our state, country, and the world. Vaya con Dios mi amigo, Abrazo. Governor Bill Richardson, RIP.”

Lt. Gov. Howie Morales’ statement:

“I am deeply saddened by the passing of Bill Richardson, a giant in the history of our state. I am forever grateful for his friendship, all the work he did to improve the lives of regular New Mexicans, and the opportunity he gave me by appointing me to a Senate seat in 2008. As a legislator when he was Governor, it really was a privilege to work with him. Bill Richardson’s legacy for New Mexico and for America will never be forgotten. My thoughts are with his wife Barbara and all who are grieving across the world today.”

Interior Secretary Deb Haaland’s statement:

“I’m sad to hear of former NM Gov Bill Richardson’s passing. He was a champion for Tribes, elevating Indian Affairs to a cabinet level. He helped me ensure Native students received in-state tuition. He was true friend and one of our country’s valued diplomats.”

Sen. Joe Cervantes’ statement:

“I learned most of what I know of governing from Bill Richardson. An incredible force, indomitable politician and one of the few true leaders in politics I’ve been privileged to serve alongside. We will miss him and the work he had left in him.”

Former Vice President Al Gore:

“I am saddened to hear the news of Bill Richardson’s passing. He was an exceptional public servant, a relentless advocate for those unjustly held overseas and a true friend. I send my deepest condolences to the Richardson family during this difficult time.”

Statement from Former President Bill Clinton and Former United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton:

“Hillary and I are deeply saddened by the sudden passing of Governor Bill Richardson, a devoted public servant and skilled diplomat whose career improved countless lives in New Mexico, across America, and around the world.

From his years in Congress, to his service in my Administration as Ambassador to the United Nations and Secretary of Energy, to his two terms as Governor, to his efforts with the Richardson Center for Global Engagement, Bill worked tirelessly for the causes of freedom, fairness, and opportunity.

His innate diplomatic skills made him a success at the U.N., and his roots in the West, and his experience, helped him succeed as Secretary of Energy.

Whether in an official or unofficial capacity, he was a masterful and persistent negotiator who helped make our world more secure and won the release of many individuals held unjustly abroad. He was also a trailblazer whose career helped pave the path for other Latino Americans to serve at the highest levels of American government.

I will always be grateful for the opportunity to know and work closely with him. His legacy will endure with all the people who are better off today because of his outstanding service. My thoughts and prayers are with Barbara, his family, and everyone who loved him.”

Secretary Antony Blinken’s statement:

“My condolences to Governor Bill Richardson’s family upon of his death. Governor Richardson dedicated his life to public service and worked tirelessly to release Americans held hostage overseas.”

Statement from Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs Roger D. Carstens:

“My heartfelt condolences to Governor Bill Richardson’s family and to Mickey Bergman and the team at the Richardson Center for Global Engagement. Gov. Richardson was a friend and partner in bringing wrongfully detained Americans and hostages home. A Cabinet Member, UN Ambassador, Governor, and Congressman, he spent his life in the service of his country and his fellow Americans. I will miss his wise counsel and friendship.”

Statement from Navajo Nation President Buu Nygren:

“Governor Bill Richardson was a champion for the Navajo people. “Since he ran for Congress, and as Governor and U.S. Energy Secretary in the Bill Clinton Administration — even after his political career — he has always come back and advocated for the Navajo Nation.”

“One thing he shared with me was the Navajo people helped get him elected into his first official political office as a U.S. Congressman. He was forever grateful to the Navajo people for believing in him and propelling him into public service in New Mexico.”

“I am very thankful to have had discussions with Governor Richardson on projects that would help the Navajo Nation, including providing new tennis shoes to our youth.”

“We are forever grateful for his leadership to our sovereign nation, to the State of New Mexico, and the United States of America. May our prayers of protection bring comfort to those he loved.”

Statement from New Mexico Indian Affairs Department:

“The New Mexico Indian Affairs Department, represented by Secretary Designate James R. Mountain, extends its heartfelt prayers and condolences to the family of the late former Governor Bill Richardson. 

Governor Richardson’s legacy is celebrated as that of a great leader and champion for Native American tribes and the people of New Mexico. His pivotal role in the unanimous passage of Senate Bill 196, known as the State Tribal Collaboration Act of 2009, marked a significant milestone in advancing the relationship between the state and tribal communities.

Secretary Designate James R. Mountain reflects on Governor Richardson’s enduring commitment, stating, “Governor Richardson was a champion for our tribes here in New Mexico and across the country. He was dedicated to ensuring that our Native people had a genuine voice and representation at the table.”

Secretary Mountain’s personal connection with Governor Richardson dates to his youth when his father, Jay Mountain, served as Governor of San Ildefonso Pueblo, and Governor Richardson was the Congressman. Later in his career as Governor of San Ildefonso, Secretary Mountain had the honor of working closely with Governor Richardson. “He was committed to working with tribal leaders to empower Indian self-determination and understood the path to achieving sovereignty,” he emphasized. 

Recalling a pivotal moment, Secretary Mountain added, “I remember his visit to my office in 2006, where we discussed the model for legislation to strengthen state and tribal relations. Three years later, he turned that vision into reality by signing the State Tribal Collaboration Act into law. Governor Richardson was a true visionary who remained dedicated to all tribal people and the people of New Mexico. He was not only a mentor but a dear friend. My gratitude goes out to Governor Richardson, and my thoughts and prayers are with his family.”