Susana Martínez

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Susana Martinez)
Jump to: navigation, search
Susana Martínez
Governor NewMexico.jpg
31st Governor of New Mexico
Assumed office
January 1, 2011
Lieutenant John Sánchez
Preceded by Bill Richardson
Personal details
Born (1959-07-14) July 14, 1959 (age 55)
El Paso, Texas, U.S.
Political party Republican (1995–present)
Other political
Democratic (until 1995)
Spouse(s) Chuck Franco (1991–present)
Children Carlo Franco
Residence Las Cruces, New Mexico, U.S. (?–present, personal)
Governor's Mansion (2011–present, while in office)
Alma mater University of Texas at El Paso
University of Oklahoma College of Law
Religion Roman Catholicism
Website Official website

Susana Martínez (born July 14, 1959) is an American attorney and politician. She is the 31st and current Governor of New Mexico.[1][2] A Republican, Martinez was elected Governor on November 2, 2010 and was sworn into office on January 1, 2011.

Born in El Paso, Texas, Martinez is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma College of Law. After graduating from college and being admitted to the State Bar of New Mexico, Martinez began her career as an assistant district attorney for New Mexico's 3rd Judicial District in Las Cruces in 1986, before being appointed deputy district attorney in 1992. She then ran for District Attorney for the 3rd Judicial District in Doña Ana County, New Mexico in 1996 after joining the Republican Party and defeating her former boss; she served three terms as district attorney from 1997 to 2011.

After incumbent Governor Bill Richardson was term limited, Martínez declared her candidacy for the governorship. She won in a five-candidate Republican primary and went on to defeat the former Lieutenant Governor of New Mexico Diane Denish with 53% of the vote in the general election. She is the first woman to be elected Governor of New Mexico and the first Hispanic female governor in the United States.[3][4][5][6] In 2013, Martinez was named one of Time magazine's 100 most influential people in the world.[7]

Early life, education and early career[edit]

Martínez was born on July 14, 1959 in El Paso, Texas. She was brought up in a middle-class family of Mexican descent. Her father, Jacobo "Jake" Martínez, was a boxer for the U.S. Marines during the Korean War, and he also won three straight Golden Gloves titles in the 1950s. He was a deputy sheriff for El Paso County, Texas.[8][9] Her mother, Paula Aguirre, worked in various offices. Martínez grew up with one sister and one brother.[9][10]

Martínez attended El Paso's Riverside High School, where she was student body president.[9] An honor student she graduated in 1977. She earned her bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from the University of Texas at El Paso. While at UTEP, Martínez worked for her father's security guard company. Martínez patrolled a parking lot of a Catholic bingo. While on the job, Martínez stated that she carried a Smith & Wesson .357 Magnum.[11]

In 1981, Martínez pursued her Juris Doctor degree from the University of Oklahoma College of Law and graduated in 1986.[12] Martínez met her first husband in Norman, Oklahoma, where they were both attending law school. The couple moved to Las Cruces, New Mexico, in the mid-1980s, but divorced after three years together. She later met her current husband in Las Cruces, where they both worked in law enforcement.

Personal life[edit]

Martínez's husband, Chuck Franco, has been a law enforcement officer for more than 30 years and served as the Doña Ana County Undersheriff. Susana has one stepson, Carlo, who served in the United States Navy.[13]

On September 9, 2011, Martínez stated that she did not know whether her paternal grandparents immigrated to the country illegally.[14] On more thorough research it turned out that they appeared to follow the rules at the time and that she is a great-granddaughter of Mexican Revolutionary General Toribio Ortega.[15] On November 14, 2011, Martinez visited Cuchillo Parado, Mexico, for a celebration in honor of her great grandfather, "a revolutionary general who led a band of supporters credited as being the first to take up arms on November 14, 1910 against a decades-long dictator."[15]


District Attorney's office[edit]

Assistant and deputy[edit]

Martínez was the Assistant District Attorney for the 3rd Judicial District, serving Doña Ana County, New Mexico, from 1986 to 1992.[20] As Assistant District Attorney, she developed a specialty in the office of working with sexually abused children and developing a multidisciplinary team (that included help for victims) and she participated in seminars that would relate specifically to domestic violence and sexual offenses, rapes and women and children. Her first supervisor, Doug Driggers, a state district judge in Las Cruces, spoke highly of her work.[9] Driggers promoted her to Deputy District Attorney.[9]

Firing and return[edit]

Martínez was later appointed as Deputy District Attorney, Martínez helped campaign for Driggers as he was running for a third term as District Attorney. Driggers lost the Democratic primary election to Gregory Valdez, a defense attorney. Martínez was fired by Valdez shortly after his election. Valdez claims that he fired Martínez because of a specific case she handled, she had missed key timelines.[21] Martínez filed a wrongful termination lawsuit against Valdez and was awarded an out-of-court settlement of $100,000-$120,000.[22] She later twice defeated Valdez in the general election for District Attorney with approximate 18-point and 20-point wins respectively.[9]


Martínez was first elected district attorney in the 3rd Judicial District in 1996 with nearly 60% of the vote.[23] She was re-elected three times after.[16] As a prosecutor, Martínez focused on cases involving public corruption and child abuse.[24] Martinez also worked to pass legislation that would expand Katie's Law. This would "require a DNA sample for all felony arrests." While Governor of New Mexico, Martinez signed the expansion bill into law in April 2011.[25]

2010 gubernatorial election[edit]


With 51% of the vote in a five-way contest, Susana Martínez won the Republican nomination for Governor of New Mexico in the primary election on June 1, 2010. Martínez defeated PR firm owner Doug Turner, State Representative Janice Arnold-Jones, Pete Domenici, Jr. (son of the former U.S. Senator from New Mexico Pete Domenici), and former Republican Party state chairman Allen Weh.[26] During the primary election campaign, Martinez was endorsed by former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.[27]


Martínez defeated Diane Denish, then lieutenant governor of New Mexico in the general election on November 2, 2010. One element of her platform was to secure the United States - Mexico border from illegal immigrants. Martínez defeated Denish by over 40,605 votes, she received 321,219 votes to Denish's 280,614 votes. The Martínez vs. Denish race and the simultaneous Mary Fallin vs. Jari Askins race in Oklahoma were the third and fourth cases of woman vs. woman gubernatorial races in U.S. history (after the elections of Kay Orr in Nebraska in 1986 and Linda Lingle in Hawaii in 2002).[28]

Governor of New Mexico (2011–present)[edit]

Martínez speaking at the Medal of Honor recipient Leroy Petry's statue unveiling, June 24, 2013

When Martínez took office she set out a budget proposal for fiscal year 2012 and 2013,[29] as well as establishing a moratorium on all state vehicle purchases until 2012.[30] Martinez has also prohibited all state agencies from hiring lobbyists.[30][31]

On January 31, 2011, Martínez signed an executive order rescinding sanctuary status for illegal immigrants who commit crimes in New Mexico.[32]

Martínez counts among her legislative victories: "the cap on film [tax] credits; a bill that would exempt locomotive fuel from state gross-receipts tax; and an expansion of Katie's Law, which will require law-enforcement officials to obtain DNA samples from all suspects booked on felony charges".[33] In addition, Martínez also supported and signed a bill that will "assign schools the grades of A to F based on student achievement and other factors, such as high-school graduation rates. Martínez described her push for education reforms as 'a hard-fought battle against those who continued to defend the status quo'."[33] In April 2011, Martínez signed the expansion bill on Katie's Law.[25]

In 2012, Martínez sold the state's luxury jet, which she called "the ultimate symbol of waste and excess". It sold for 2.51 million dollars.[34]

As of May 2014, job losses in New Mexico had accelerated during the previous 12 months, making it just one of two states to lose jobs. For the 12 months ending in April 2014, the state reported a net loss of 4,400 jobs, according to the state Department of Workforce Solutions. The state has been impacted by the reduction in spending and employment by the federal government. The sector lost 1,100 jobs during the period. New Mexico was 50th in job growth since Martínez took office.[35]

Martínez says that tax cuts enacted during her tenure make the state more competitive in attracting manufacturing jobs. The state is among the finalists for a new Tesla battery plant. She also says that infrastructure investments at the entry port of Santa Teresa will generate transportation and manufacturing jobs.[35]

Polling and opinion[edit]

Martínez has one of the highest approval rating of current governors in the United States, according to a Public Opinion Strategies survey, conducted for Martínez's campaign.[36] Her approval ratings have not dropped below 60% in her tenure as governor.[37][38][39][40] In an April 2012 edition of the Washington Post, Martínez was named 8th most popular governor in the United States.[41]

As of May 2013, Martínez had an approval rating of 66%,[42][43] with over 44% of Democrats in New Mexico stating they approve of her.[44]

A January 2014 poll conducted by Research and Polling Inc., an Albuquerque-based pollster, on behalf of Common Cause New Mexico pegged Martínez's approval rating at 55 percent.[45]

2014 gubernatorial election[edit]

On October 15, 2013, Martínez declared she would be running for a second term as governor. At the time of her announcement, she had already raised over $2.2 million in campaign contributions, nearly 5 times the amount of any of her challengers in the gubernatorial Democratic Primary.[46]

Martínez did not face any Republican primary opposition. On November 4, 2013, Gary King was the nominee chosen by voters in the Democratic primary to challenge Martinez, he received 35% in a five-way race.

Political positions[edit]

In 1995, Martínez changed her membership from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party.[47][48][49] On August 29, 2012, Martinez gave a speech to the Republican National Convention where she spoke right before Paul Ryan and described her decision to switch parties. She told the story that she was taken to lunch by Republican friends who wanted her to switch parties. She stated that she was going just to be polite, but when she left the luncheon with her husband, she had changed her mind. She told the convention, "When we left that lunch, we got in the car and I looked over at Chuck and said, ‘I’ll be damned – we’re Republicans."[50]

Martínez supports a balanced budget and lower government spending. She favors putting taxpayer money into a rainy day fund, and refunding taxpayers to attempt to stimulate growth.[51] Martinez is pro-life and is opposed to elective abortion.[52] Martinez is opposed to same-sex marriage, but has no record on civil unions.[53] Martínez opposes New Mexico's medical marijuana program, but has indicated that repealing New Mexico's existing law is not a priority.[54]

Election history[edit]

Election Political result Candidate Party Votes %
New Mexico gubernatorial primary election, 2014 Republican
Majority: 67,127 (100%)
Susana Martínez Republican unopposed
New Mexico gubernatorial election, 2010
Turnout: 602,827
Republican win (new seat)
Majority: 40,605 (6%)
Susana Martínez Republican 321,219 53%
Diane Denish Democratic 280,614 46%
New Mexico gubernatorial primary election, 2010
Turnout: 122,269
Majority: 28,279 (23%)
Susana Martínez Republican 62,006 51%
Allen Weh Republican 33,727 28%
Doug Turner Republican 14,166 11%
Pete Domenici, Jr. Republican 8,630 7%
Janice Arnold–Jones Republican 3,740 3%
3rd Judicial District General Election, 2008 Republican hold
Majority: 45,098 (100%)
Susana Martínez Republican unopposed
3rd Judicial District General Election, 2004[dead link]
Turnout: 60,451
Republican hold
Majority: 9,225 (20%)
Susana Martínez Republican 34,838 60%
Gregory Valdez Democratic 25,613 40%
3rd Judicial District General Election, 2000[dead link]
Turnout: 29,714
Republican hold
Majority: 1972 (4%)
Susana Martínez Republican 15,843 52%
Kent E. Yalkut Democratic 13,871 48%
3rd Judicial District General Election, 1996[dead link]
Turnout: 41,839
Republican win (new seat)
Majority: 7,505 (18%)
Susana Martínez Republican 24,672 59%
Gregory Valdez Democratic 17,167 41%


  1. ^ Memoli, Mike. NM Gov: Martinez Wins GOP Nod[dead link], Real Clear Politics, June 2, 2010.
  2. ^ Davis, Susan. Political Trivia: New Mexico Marks a Milestone,Wall Street Journal, June 2, 2010.
  3. ^ Mariela Rosario (November 3, 2010). "New Mexico's Susana Martinez Elected the First Latina Governor in the U.S". Latina. Retrieved September 19, 2011. 
  4. ^ Noreen Malone (November 3, 2010). "Susana Martinez, First Latina Governor, Will Be Tough on Border Security". Slate. Retrieved September 19, 2011. 
  5. ^ Sharyl Stockstill (November 3, 2010). "New Mexico elects Susana Martinez, first female Hispanic governor". Yahoo! News. Retrieved September 19, 2011. [dead link]
  6. ^ "Nation's first female Hispanic governor elected". MSNBC. November 2, 2010. Retrieved September 19, 2011. 
  7. ^ a b Rove, Karl (2013-04-18). "The 2013 TIME 100: Susana Martinez". Time. Retrieved 2013-07-19. 
  8. ^ "Susana Martinez works to prove she's ready for state's top job". The Santa Fe New Mexican. Retrieved 2012-07-16. [dead link]
  9. ^ a b c d e f Heild, Colleen. Tough As Nails, Albuquerque Journal, September 10, 2010.
  10. ^ by Ramón Rentería / El Paso Times. "'Bossy' El Paso girl Susana Martinez a born leader". El Paso Times. Retrieved 2013-07-19. 
  11. ^ "Firing up the GOP: Martinez's personal story gets prime-time slot at GOP convention - The Santa Fe New Mexican". Retrieved 2013-07-19. 
  12. ^ Ramón Rentería (October 24, 2010). "'Bossy' El Paso girl Susana Martinez a born leader". El Paso Times. Retrieved September 19, 2011. 
  13. ^ "New Mexico Elects State’s First Woman Governor | West | United States". Epoch Times. 2011-01-02. Retrieved 2012-07-16. 
  14. ^ "New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez Confirms that Grandparents Were Undocumented". Fox News Latino. September 9, 2011. Retrieved 9 September 2011. 
  15. ^ a b Johnson, Luke (November 14, 2011). "Susana Martinez, New Mexico Governor, Releases Evidence On Her Grandparents' Immigration Status". Huffington Post. 
  16. ^ a b "Our Candidates: Susana Martinez". Free & Strong America PAC. Retrieved 20 August 2010. [dead link]
  17. ^ "In Case Your Missed it! Martínez Named Prosecutor of the Year". Susana Martinez for Governor. March 4, 2010. Retrieved 20 August 2010. [dead link]
  18. ^ "Meet the Governor." New Mexico Office of the Governor Susana Martinez. 2012-01-29.
  19. ^ "State news in brief, April 19, 2013 - The Santa Fe New Mexican: Local News". The Santa Fe New Mexican. 2013-04-19. Retrieved 2013-07-19. 
  20. ^ "Susana Martinez Biography - Facts, Birthday, Life Story". Retrieved 2013-07-19. 
  21. ^ Susana Martinez works to prove she's ready for state's top job[dead link]
  22. ^ "‘A game changer:’ DA Martinez is running for governor". Retrieved 2013-07-19. 
  23. ^ Retrieved 2013-07-19.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  24. ^ "Meet Governor Martinez". Retrieved 2012-07-16. 
  25. ^ a b "Susana Martinez - Governor of the State of New Mexico". Retrieved 2013-07-19. 
  26. ^ Massey, Barry (June 2, 2010). "Martinez wins GOP gubernatorial primary". Clovis News Journal. Retrieved 20 August 2010. [dead link]
  27. ^ Miller, Sean J. Palin helps New Mexico Republican win primary, The Hill, June 1, 2010.
  28. ^ "New Mexico Governor's Race: Milestone for Women, Test of Anti-Incumbent Mood - ABC News". 2010-09-28. Retrieved 2012-07-16. 
  29. ^ [1][dead link]
  30. ^ a b Retrieved 2013-07-19.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  31. ^ Retrieved 2013-07-19.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  32. ^ Retrieved 2013-07-19.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  33. ^ a b Martinez touts gains, undaunted by setbacks[dead link]
  34. ^ "Governor Martinez Sells the State-Owned Luxury Jet for $2.51 Million". Retrieved 2013-07-19. 
  35. ^ a b "Local News". Santa Fe New Mexican. 
  36. ^ Cohen, Micah (May 28, 2013). "Popular Governors, and Prospects for 2016". The New York Times. 
  37. ^
  38. ^ Cohen, Micah (April 8, 2013). "Which Governors Are Most Vulnerable in 2014?". The New York Times. 
  39. ^
  40. ^ "GovBeat". The Washington Post. 
  41. ^ Blake, Aaron (April 12, 2012). "The nation's 10 most popular governors—and why". The Washington Post. 
  42. ^
  43. ^
  44. ^
  45. ^ "GovBeat". The Washington Post. 
  46. ^
  47. ^ Michael Haederle (2011-01-01). "A rising GOP star in Santa Fe". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2013-07-19. 
  48. ^ How to grab them, Susana Martinez shows how Republicans might one day woo Latinos, The Economist, December 17, 2011.
  49. ^ Doña Ana County undersheriff to blaze new trail as governor-elect's sidekick[dead link]
  50. ^ Coleman, Michael. Martinez Earns Kudos for Convention Speech, Albuquerque Journal, August 31, 2012.
  51. ^ "Susana Martinez on Budget & Economy". Retrieved 2012-07-16. 
  52. ^ "Susana Martinez on Abortion". Retrieved 2012-07-16. 
  53. ^ "Governor Susana Martinez Unmoved On Same-Sex Marriage Despite Hairstylist Protest". February 27, 2012. Retrieved 2012-07-16. 
  54. ^ Milan Simonich (January 7, 2011). "New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez to ignore marijuana law". El Paso Times. Retrieved September 19, 2011. 

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Bill Richardson
Governor of New Mexico
January 1, 2011 – present
Party political offices
Preceded by
John Dendahl
Republican nominee for Governor of New Mexico
2010, 2014
Current holder
United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Joe Biden
as Vice President
Order of Precedence of the United States
Within New Mexico
Succeeded by
Mayor of city
in which event is held
Succeeded by
Otherwise John Boehner
as Speaker of the House of Representatives
Preceded by
Mary Fallin
as Governor of Oklahoma
Order of Precedence of the United States
Outside New Mexico
Succeeded by
Jan Brewer
as Governor of Arizona