Virginia Martinez (politician)

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Virginia Morse "Ginny" Martinez
Born Virginia Morse
c. 1922
Milford, Worcester County
Massachusetts, U.S.
Died June 25, 1992 (aged 69)
New Orleans, Louisiana
Resting place Lake Lawn Mausoleum in New Orleans
Alma mater Hunter College
Occupation Republican party official
Spouse(s) Reginald Vincent Martinez, Jr. (1922-2006) (m. 1946–1992)
Children Charles Martinez
Richard Martinez
Reginald V. Martinez, III

Virginia Morse Martinez, usually known as Ginny Martinez (c. 1922 – June 25, 1992), was a long-term Louisiana Republican Party official who is credited with having landed her party's 1988 national convention in her adopted home city of New Orleans, Louisiana.[1] Delegates nominated the Bush-Quayle ticket. Martinez had been a notable supporter of Bush.[2]

Martinez was the Louisiana Republican National Committeewoman from 1977 until her death in 1992.[1] As a member of the RNC Executive Committee in Washington, D.C., she fought for the Louisiana Superdome as the 1988 convention site. Martinez was a member of both the convention Host Committee, which produced the 80-page program, and the Calendar Committee.[1] The delegates were greeted by then Democratic Governor Buddy Roemer, who three years later in the spring of 1991 switched to Republican affiliation but left the GOP to run for U.S. President in 2012.

Life and career[edit]

Martinez was born in Milford in Worcester County in southern Massachusetts. She graduated from St. Mary's Academy there and then Hunter College in New York City. During World War II, she was a lieutenant in the United States Navy WAVES. In 1946, after her marriage to Reginald V. Martinez, Jr. (1922–2006),[3] she relocated to New Orleans, where her family resided until 1977, when the Martinezes moved to the nearby suburb of Kenner in Jefferson Parish.[1]

Martinez became active in the Republican Party during the 1971-1972 gubernatorial election, when she, along with state party chairman Charles deGravelles of Lafayette and his wife Virginia deGravelles organized on behalf of Republican nominee David C. Treen, then of Jefferson Parish. Treen, only the second Republican since Reconstruction to make a serious bid for governor, was defeated in that election cycle but won the governorship eight years later in 1979. She later worked to elect Henson Moore, of Baton Rouge and Bob Livingston of New Orleans to the United States House of Representatives. Martinez was the founding president of the Lakefront Republican Women's Club and held membership in similar organizations in New Orleans and Kenner. She was a member of the Capitol Hill Club in Washington and the City Club in New Orleans. In addition, she was a former vice president of the Louisiana Federation of Republican Women, a political support group founded in 1953. She was the treasurer of the Republican National Conventions which met in Detroit in 1980 and in Dallas in 1984.[1]

From 1984 until her death of cancer at the age of sixty-nine in Southern Baptist Hospital of New Orleans, Martinez served as a director of St. Jude's Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. She is interred at the Lake Lawn Mausoleum in New Orleans.[1]


In 1991, the Louisiana Federation of Republican Women established the "Ginny Martinez Scholarship Award" to honor her work in encouraging young women to enter government service.[4]

In 1994, Martinez was among the first nine inductees, along with Mary Evelyn Parker, Lindy Boggs, and Virginia Shehee, into the Louisiana Center for Women and Government Hall of Fame at Nicholls State University in Thibodaux.[5] Two later state Republican inductees were Beth Rickey and Marilyn Thayer, both in 2000.