MANCHESTER, New Hampshire (CNN) - Gov. Bill Richardson scored a significant endorsement Thursday from one of New Hampshire's top Democrats, former Manchester mayor Bob Baines.
"In the race for president, there are a few candidates with experience, and there are a few others who represent change," Baines said in a written statement. "Bill Richardson is the only candidate who can bring both change and experience to the White House."
Baines, who the Richardson campaign points out was twice named as one of New Hampshire's "Ten Most Powerful People" by a local business magazine, served as mayor from 2000 to 2006. He was defeated for re-election in 2005.
"In the battle for votes in the state's largest city, Bob Baines' endorsement is a clear win for Bill Richardson," said Scott Spradling, political director for WMUR-TV in Manchester. "Connected in city politics, Baines still has the type of access to a grassroots operation that you would expect a former mayor to have, and he can potentially provide access to supporters throughout the city."
The impact of the Baines endorsement on Richardson's long-term standing in the Granite State remains to be seen.
"Endorsements in New Hampshire are nice, but rarely have they shown to make a huge difference with independent-minded voters. What Baines can do is perhaps provide a new introduction to an audience he [Richardson] has not met yet," said Spradling.
– CNN New Hampshire Producer Sareena Dalla