Susana Martinez is the incumbent Governor of New Mexico who took office on January 1, 2011 as the successor of Bill Richardson. Martinez is also a law graduate and she was a professional law practitioner prior to ascending the position of Governor.
Early Life and Education
Susana Martinez was born on July 14, 1959 to father Jacobo and mother Paula. Jacobo Martinez was a boxer and a US Marine. Raised up with two other siblings, Susana went to Riverside High School and graduate in 1977. Leaving Riverside, she joined the University of Texas at El Paso for a degree in criminal justice. Later, she earned her JD from the University of Oklahoma.
Susana Martinez is currently married to Chuck Franco. Franco also follows the career path as a law enforcement officer. The couple has a son named Carlo.
After several years as a law practitioner at private and public law firms, Martinez decided to run in the 1996 3rd Judicial District General Election for District Attorney. Susana defeated the Democratic opponent Gregory Valdez with 59% votes. Subsequently, she won three more such elections in 2000, 2004 and 2008. In 2000, she defeated Democrat Kent E. Yalkut with 52% votes as opposed to Yalkut’s 48%. Likewise, in 2004, Martinez saw a landslide victory against Gregory Valdez with 60% votes. She ran unopposed in the 2008 3rd Judicial District General Election.
While at the fourth term of her district judiciary career, Susana decided to run for Governor of New Mexico. She received the Republican nomination with 51% votes as opposed to Allen Weh’s 28%, Doug Turner’s 11%, Pete Domenici’s 7% and Janice Arnold’s 3%. In the general election, she easily defeated Democrat Diane Denish with 53% votes in favor. As the first term came to an end, Susana sought for a second term and gained the Republican nomination unopposed. Subsequently, she went on to win another term at Governor’s office by defeating Democrat nominee Gary King with 57% votes.
As Governor, Susana vetoed a bill to raise National Minimum Wage. Though NMW uplifts people’s living standard, it has created huge job losses in New Mexico. The rising unemployment can also be attributed to low federal spending on employment creation. Besides, she has constantly been pushing for private investment from both middle and high-income households. Also, the state economy is going through a period of a slowdown after a brief constant growth.
In 2012, she was one of the top ten most popular governors in the US. However, as the time passed by, the approval ratings have started to lower down. As of 2013 and 2014, she was at 66% and 55% respectively. Likewise, in 2016, her approval rating dropped down to 39%.
Donald Trump and Susana Martinez
Despite representing the same party, the two leaders didn’t get along so well in the beginning. While at New Hampshire, Donald Trump commented on Martinez by saying ‘She’s not doing the job’. As a response, Martinez had initially hesitated to support Trump. However, as the time passed by, it seems the hostility has faded away. She ensured that her state delivered all 24 delegate votes for Trump.