Chuck Franco

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Chuck Franco
First Gentleman of New Mexico
Assumed office
January 1, 2011
Governor Susana Martinez
Preceded by Barbara Richardson
Personal details
Born Charles A. Franco
1955 (age 61–62)
Las Cruces, New Mexico, U.S.
Political party Republican (1995–present)
Other political
affiliations
Democratic (1968–1995)
Spouse(s) Susana Martinez (1991–present)
Children Carlo Franco
Residence Las Cruces, New Mexico, U.S. (1955–present, personal)
Governor's Mansion (2011–present, while in office)
Alma mater New Mexico State University
Profession Politician
Website Official website

Charles A. "Chuck" Franco (born 1955) is an American politician. He was a game warden, police officer, Undersheriff for Doña Ana County, Judge on the Dona Ana County Magistrate Court, and the First Gentleman of New Mexico.[1][2][3]

Early life and education[edit]

Franco was born and raised in Las Cruces, New Mexico, graduating from Las Cruces High School and earning a degree in criminal justice from New Mexico State University. He has an older brother and younger sister.[4]

Personal life[edit]

Franco is married to Governor Susana Martínez.[5] Through Franco's job as an undercover investigator, he met Martinez while she was an assistant district attorney.[6] The two married in 1991.[7] Franco has one son, Carlo, who served in the United States Navy.[8] Franco is an advocate for Horses for Heroes and the Youth Diagnostic Development Center in Albuquerque."[9] Franco is a longtime supporter of the Weed and Seed program of the Community Capacity Development Office.[10] Franco is a hunter and fisherman.[11][12] Franco has been a member of the Republican Party[13] since 1995, when he and Martinez changed their membership from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party.[14][15][16]

Career[edit]

Franco graduated from the police academy in 1978.[17] Franco has been a law enforcement officer for more than 30 years, and served as the Doña Ana County Undersheriff.[18] Franco began working in law enforcement, starting as a game warden.[19] In 1996, Franco ran for a position as Magistrate judge in Doña Ana County.[20] He won, and served for three years.[21][22] During his career, Franco has worked for "the Las Cruces Police Department, the city's Weed and Seed program and the New Mexico State University Police Department."[23] Franco was a police detective when the Las Cruces Bowling Alley massacre occurred.[24] "As part of the investigation, he had to videotape the scene."[25]

In 1992, Martínez was fired by then District Attorney Greg Valdez. Valdez stated that Martínez brought in a case that Franco was working on.[26] "A potential conflict of interest between Martínez and Franco was an issue in the late 1990s, when she first became district attorney. Franco was a magistrate judge, and some cases being prosecuted by the district attorney’s office were assigned to him. Franco was running for re-election in 1996, the same year Martínez first ran for DA. His Democratic opponent and others said there would be a conflict if both were elected. But Franco and Martinez said Franco would recuse himself from all cases involving the DA’s office."[27] Franco's relationship with Martinez was twice raised as a concern when, as District Attorney, "she had to decide whether officer-involved shootings were justified."[28]

Franco was a member of Martínez' search team for members of the New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department.[29]

Presently, Franco is a retired career cop.[30] As of January 1, 2011, he is the First Gentleman of New Mexico.[31][32]

New Mexico Coalition for Literacy[edit]

Adult literacy is one of three main causes to which Franco has decided to dedicate his time.[33] New Mexico Coalition for Literacy is "a cause close to his heart from his work in Las Cruces under the federally funded Weed and Seed program to help at-risk youths. There he saw firsthand how improving reading skills helped kids succeed in school."[34] Franco stated that "'supporting the New Mexico Coalition for Literacy also complements Gov. Susana Martinez' push to improve K-12 education in the state'"[35] Franco observed, while working with troubled youth, "that their issues ran beyond behavioral problems. Having parents at home who couldn't read was one of them."[36]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Dona Ana County Bids Farewell to Franco
  2. ^ New Mexico Elects State’s First Woman Governor Archived February 2, 2014, at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ Sheriff's department asks residents to do what they can to help curb gang violence
  4. ^ Dona Ana County Bids Farewell to Franco
  5. ^ Franco lends support to adult literacy coalition
  6. ^ Spotlights on NM's "First gentleman" Chuck Franco makes history
  7. ^ Is Susana Martinez Married?
  8. ^ New Mexico Elects State’s First Woman Governor Archived February 2, 2014, at the Wayback Machine.
  9. ^ Franco lends support to adult literacy coalition
  10. ^ Just Plain Chuck
  11. ^ Doña Ana County undersheriff to blaze new trail as governor-elect's sidekick
  12. ^ From bordertown neighborhood to state’s highest elected office
  13. ^ Doña Ana County undersheriff to blaze new trail as governor-elect's sidekick
  14. ^ A rising GOP star in Santa Fe
  15. ^ How to grab them
  16. ^ Doña Ana County undersheriff to blaze new trail as governor-elect's sidekick
  17. ^ Chuck Franco, The First Gentleman
  18. ^ New Mexico Elects State’s First Woman Governor Archived February 2, 2014, at the Wayback Machine.
  19. ^ Doña Ana County undersheriff to blaze new trail as governor-elect's sidekick
  20. ^ Martinez: I’ll make the tough – and ethical – decisions
  21. ^ Man of Respect: Undersheriff Chuck Franco
  22. ^ Martinez’s marriage to cop has led to conflict allegations
  23. ^ Susana Martinez works to prove she's ready for state's top job
  24. ^ 20 years later, Las Cruces bowling alley murders a lingering mystery
  25. ^ Doña Ana County undersheriff to blaze new trail as governor-elect's sidekick
  26. ^ Susana Martinez works to prove she's ready for state's top job
  27. ^ Martinez’s marriage to cop has led to conflict allegations
  28. ^ Martinez’s marriage to cop has led to conflict allegations
  29. ^ Oil and gas industry dominates Martinez’s energy & environment search team
  30. ^ Just Plain Chuck
  31. ^ Chuck Franco, The First Gentleman
  32. ^ NM governor, husband unhurt after small plane makes hard landing at Santa Fe airport
  33. ^ Franco lends support to adult literacy coalition
  34. ^ Just Plain Chuck
  35. ^ Franco lends support to adult literacy coalition
  36. ^ Gov's husband pushing for literacy funding

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Barbara Richardson
First Gentleman of New Mexico
January 1, 2011 – present
Succeeded by
Incumbent