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}}{{tnr}}'''Susana Martinez''', (born July 14, 1959) is an attorney and the current [[Republican]] [[Governor of New Mexico]]. She was the District Attorney for the 3rd Judicial District in Doña Ana County, New Mexico, from 1996 until 2011.  Susana ran successfully for [[New Mexico gubernatorial election, 2010| Governor of New Mexico in 2010]].
}}{{tnr}}'''Susana Martinez''', (born July 14, 1959) is an attorney and the current [[Republican]] [[Governor of New Mexico]]. She was the District Attorney for the 3rd Judicial District in Doña Ana County, New Mexico, from 1996 until 2011.  Susana ran successfully for [[New Mexico gubernatorial election, 2010| Governor of New Mexico in 2010]].
An analysis of Republican governors by Nate Silver of the ''New York Times'' in April 2013 ranked Martinez as the 24th most conservative governor in the country.<ref> [http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/04/16/in-state-governments-signs-of-a-healthier-g-o-p/?smid=tw-share&_r=0 ''New York Times,'' "In State Governments, Signs of a Healthier G.O.P.," April 16, 2013]</ref>

Revision as of 14:42, 2 July 2013

Susana Martinez
Governor of New Mexico
In office
2011 - Present
Years in position 4
PredecessorBill Richardson (D)
Base salary$110,000
Elections and appointments
First electedNovember 2, 2010
Next generalNovember 4, 2014
Campaign $$7,581,963
Term limitsN/A
High schoolRiverside High School, El Paso (1977)
Bachelor'sUniversity of Texas at El Paso
J.D.University of Oklahoma College of Law
Office website
Susana Martinez, (born July 14, 1959) is an attorney and the current Republican Governor of New Mexico. She was the District Attorney for the 3rd Judicial District in Doña Ana County, New Mexico, from 1996 until 2011. Susana ran successfully for Governor of New Mexico in 2010.

An analysis of Republican governors by Nate Silver of the New York Times in April 2013 ranked Martinez as the 24th most conservative governor in the country.[1]


Martinez grew up in the Rio Grande Valley in El Paso, Texas, where she worked as a security guard for the business her parents started and ran from their home. Her father, a former Golden Gloves boxer, was the deputy sheriff for El Paso County.

After college and law school, Martinez moved to New Mexico in the 1980s She and her husband, Chuck Franco, live in Las Cruces. Franco currently serves as the Doña Ana County Undersheriff and has worked in law enforcement for 30 years.

She has one step son, Carlos, who serves in the U.S. Navy.

In August 2012, she was included in a list of 20 Latino political rising stars compiled by the San Francisco Chronicle[2] and in 2013 Time Magazine named her one of the 100 most influential people in the world.[3]


  • University of Oklahoma College of Law
  • University of Texas at El Paso
  • Riverside High School, El Paso, 1977

Political Career

Governor of New Mexico (2010-present)


Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare")

In December, 2012, Martinez diverged from the path laid out by most Republican governors with respect to the health-exchange established under the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as "Obamacare," when she declined to enter New Mexico into the federal exchange system in favor of setting up a state-based system.[4][5] New Mexico is one of eighteen states - including Colorado, New York, Maryland, and Washington - that decided to create and run individual health-exchange systems by the December 14, 2012 deadline. The exchange is an online marketplace for citizens to purchase health insurance.[6]

Deficit higher than expected

For a year, New Mexico’s budget deficit has estimated at $260 million. However, Bill Richardson's financial expert raised the estimate to $452 million, a 74 percent increase. This means the state legislature and incoming Martinez have a more daunting task to balance the fiscal year budget, which starts July 2011 and ends in June of 2012.[7]

Gay marriage recognition

In the stretch before the beginning of the 2011 session, Rep. Al Park asked King for an opinion on whether same-sex marriages from other jurisdictions are valid in New Mexico.

Attorney General Gary King responded by saying that although a majority of states bar recognition of same-sex marriages performed in other states, he says that New Mexico does not have an explicit statute prohibiting the recognition of same-sex marriage from out of state.

"We conclude that a court addressing the issue would likely hold … that a valid same-sex marriage from another jurisdiction is valid in New Mexico,” said King.

The new Gov. Susana Martinez made note that she "made it clear during the campaign that she opposes same-sex marriage. It’s important to note that no New Mexico court has ruled on this issue.”[8]

Cabinet salaries cut

At the start of Martinez's term as governor in early 2011, Martinez informed the public that the cabinet would "lead by example" and live with a salary cut.

"No cabinet secretary will earn higher than $125,000 per year. During the previous administration, cabinet secretaries earned as high as $188,158 per year," said Martinez in a statement.[9]

DNA lab

In late December 2010, the state Supreme Court granted departing Department of Public Safety boss John Denko the authority to move the state’s DNA lab from Albuquerque to Santa Fe. Denko says it will save the state $400,000 a year.

Susana Martinez released this statement upon hearing the news:

“It is politics at its worst to move the DNA lab to Santa Fe in the final hours of the current administration only to move it back to Albuquerque on Monday, which is exactly what will happen. Instead, we should be putting victims and justice first. The move is opposed by both Republicans and Democrats, along with victims’ advocates and law enforcement. I will not be bullied into doing anything that will jeopardize cases and justice for New Mexico victims.”[10]
State Investment Council

Rep. Tim Keller and Rep. Steven Neville sponsored a bill in the 2011 session that would kick off Gov. Martinez from the State Investment Council and change the way four legislative appointments on the 10-member SIC board are selected.

The legislation passed the Senate 38-2 and was approved by the House of Representatives 50-18. In early April 2011, it sat on Gov. Martinez’ desk with an April 8 deadline for signing it, vetoing it, or pocket vetoing it

Neville and Keller learned that the Governor’s Office “had some real hesitations with this bill,” Keller said. Neville said the Governor’s staff indicated to him that the Governor herself wanted to talk personally to him and/or Keller about some questions she has with the measure.

“We’re not trying to pull anything on her,” Neville said. “We’re trying to correct the things that happened under [previous Gov. Bill] Richardson.”

“We’re still going through the process of reviewing legislation,” Martinez spokesman Scott Darnell said. ”A final decision has not yet been made on SB 17, but the Governor’s stance was very clear throughout the legislative session. As we’ve relayed: The Governor supports removing all politicians from the State Investment Council and requiring that those appointed to serve in their place meet minimum qualifications of having at least 10 years of professional investing experience.”[11]

Tax reform

Martinez has made tax reform, namely cutting the state corporate tax from 7.6 percent to 4.9 percent, a priority for 2013.[12]


In April 2013, Martinez killed 70 bills, either by veto or not acting on them. This total was nearly one-fourth of all measures passed during the legislative session. Included among the vetoes was legislation to shore up the judicial retirement system and a bill to give the Public Education Commission final word on charter schools.[13]

The full list of bills signed and vetoed is available here.


Lawsuit against Gov. Martinez

Mimi Stewart, Henry Saavedra, John Arthur Smith and “Lucky” Varela filed two lawsuits against Gov. Martinez over her line item vetoes in an unemployment bill and a housing bill.

Raul Burciaga, the director of the Legislative Council Service, told committee members of the Legislative Finance Committee (LFC) May 19, 2011 that in his opinion two line-item vetoes made by Gov. Martinez violate the state’s constitution.

“Some of the governor’s vetoes seem to impinge on the legislature’s appropriation powers and plow new ground in a governor’s exercise of the veto authority,” said Burciaga.

That day, Gov. Martinez firmly said she disagreed.

“I could protest any governor doing this … it’s not partisan,” Sen. Stuart Ingle. “She’s a good governor … but it’s a little bit of stretch to do this.”

Burciaga testified that the veto Martinez made in unemployment bill H.B. 59 is part of a revenue bill and “did not authorize the expenditure of state money because that authorization was already in statute and not amended in this bill.” Burciaga said the veto is “unconstitutional and, hence, unenforceable.”

The second veto came when Gov. Martinez reduced an appropriation the legislature made to budget bill H.B. 2 from $150,000 to $50,000. Burciaga said that while state courts have not addressed the issue specifically, reducing “an item of appropriation is a legislative function that the governor has no power to do.”

“I think we need to challenge this in the courts,” Rep. Luciano “Lucky” Varela (D-Santa Fe) said.

“The main difficulty I have is changing the figure [from $150,000 down to $50,000 in HB2],” Ingle said, expressing concern that if the current partisan makeup of the Roundhouse were reversed, a future Democratic governor could assume greater power at the expense of the legislative branch. ”We just can’t go there.”[14][15]

District Attorney (1996-2010)

Susana Martinez was elected as District Attorney for the 3rd Judicial District in New Mexico in 1996 with close to 60% of the vote. She was re-elected three times, and was unopposed for her 2008 re-election.



See also: New Hampshire gubernatorial election, 2014

Martinez is running for re-election as Governor of New Mexico in 2014. The general election will take place on November 4, 2014.[16]


See also: New Mexico gubernatorial election, 2010

Martinez was the Republican candidate for the November 2, 2010 Gubernatorial election, facing Democratic Diane Denish.

In the three weeks prior to Election Day, Martinez spent $2.1 million, with about 75 percent of that going to advertising. Immediately prior to the election, Martinez raised $1.1 million. Her biggest donor was Denver developer Larry Mizel, with a $50,000 donation. Martinez and Denish spent about $5 million during the election cycle, as of November 2, 2010.[17]

Martinez won the election, with 54 percent of the vote to Denish’s 46 percent, becoming New Mexico's first female governor.[18]

Campaign ad "causing a ruckus"

"Convicted" campaign ad

Martinez's newest TV ad for her campaign is popular with Republicans, but angering Democrats. Steve Terrell of the Santa Fe New Mexican collected a roundup of Democrat and GOP reactions. Terrell clarified a few facts from each side.[19][20]

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Martinez is available dating back to 2010. Based on available campaign finance records, Martinez raised a total of $7,581,963 during that time period. This information was last updated on May 21, 2013.[21]

Susana Martinez's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2012 Governor of New Mexico Not up for election $137,511
2010 Governor of New Mexico Won $7,444,452
Grand Total Raised $7,581,963


Ballotpedia collects information on campaign donors for each year in which a candidate or incumbent is running for election. The following table offers a breakdown of Susana Martinez's donors each year.[22] Click [show] for more information.

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term "Susana + Martinez + New + Mexico + Governor"

All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.

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See also

External links

Suggest a link


  1. New York Times, "In State Governments, Signs of a Healthier G.O.P.," April 16, 2013
  2. San Francisco Chronicle "20 Latino political rising stars of 2012 (with PHOTO GALLERY)," August 25, 2012
  3. KTSM, "Governor Martinez makes Time Magazine's top 100 list," April 18, 2013
  4. The Daily Times, "Governor Susana Martinez to tackle state-based health exchange," January 9, 2013
  5. The New York Times, "Most states miss deadline to set up health exchange," December 14, 2012
  6. The New York Times, "Most states miss deadline to set up health exchange," December 14, 2012
  7. "URGENT: NM budget deficit NOT $260 million — try $452 million!" New Mexico Watchdog, November 12, 2010
  8. "NM Attorney General’s opinion: NM should recognize same-sex marriages from elsewhere," New Mexico Watchdog, January 4, 2011
  9. "Cabinet salaries cut: Gov. Martinez says administration “will lead by example”," New Mexico Watchdog, January 5, 2011
  10. "The DNA Lab standoff between Richardson and Martinez," New Mexico Watchdog, December 28, 2010
  11. "Bill kicking Governor off the State Investment Council in jeopardy," Capital Report New Mexico, April 5, 2011
  12. Wall Street Journal, "The State Tax Reformers," January 29, 2013
  13. Albuquerque Journal, " Governor vetoes 70 measures," April 6, 2013
  14. "Lawmakers file suit over Susana vetoes," Capitol Report New Mexico, May 26, 2011
  15. "Legislative director says two vetoes from Susana are unconstitutional," Capitol Report New Mexico, May 19, 2011
  16. Albuquerque Journal, "Martinez Wastes No Time Preparing for Next Run," December 10, 2012
  17. "A look at the money trail in the Governor’s race," New Mexico Watchdog, October 29, 2010
  18. "Martinez beats Denish, becoming first NM woman governor," New Mexico Independent, November 3, 2010
  19. "Here’s the Susana Martinez ad that’s causing a ruckus," by Rob Nikolewski, New Mexico Watchdog, September 11, 2010
  20. "Best Ad of the Year?" Roundhouse Roundup, September 10, 2010
  21. Follow the Money, "Career fundraising for Susana Martinez," accessed May 21, 2013
  22. Follow the Money.org, "Home," accessed February 17, 2015
Political offices
Preceded by
Bill Richardson (D)
Governor of New Mexico
Succeeded by