Meet New Mexico's Governor, Susana Martinez
Susana Martinez is Governor of the State of New Mexico. Elected by New Mexicans on November 2, 2010, Martinez pledged to bring bold change to state government. Among other initiatives, Martinez has pledged to cut wasteful spending, balance the state’s budget by closing the current $450 million budget deficit, put an end to pay-to-play public corruption, and reform education to ensure our children a future of opportunity. She was sworn in as Governor of New Mexico on January 1, 2011, and became both the first woman to hold the position in New Mexico and the first Hispanic woman in U.S. history to serve as a state’s Governor.
Prior to becoming Governor, Martinez served for 14 years as the District Attorney for the 3rd Judicial District in Doña Ana County, New Mexico. In addition to managing the state’s second largest DA’s office, she personally tried some of the toughest cases, involving child abuse and child homicide.
In fact, Katie’s Law is named after Katie Sepich, a 22-year old college student whose killer was prosecuted and convicted by Martinez. The law now requires law enforcement to take DNA for most violent felony arrests and include the samples in a database to help bring criminals to justice. Martinez was twice named New Mexico’s “Prosecutor of the Year,” and was named “Woman of the Year” by Heart Magazine in 2008 for her dedication to children’s advocacy and keeping children safe.
Martinez comes from a hardworking, middle class family. Her father and mother started a security guard business with $400 in their pocket. They built their business with her mother in the kitchen doing the paperwork, while Susana worked as a security guard, preparing for college in the evenings. Martinez was born and raised in El Paso and has made Las Cruces her home since the mid-1980’s. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at El Paso and later earned her law degree from the University of Oklahoma.
Her husband, Chuck Franco, concluded his three-decade career in law enforcement serving as the Doña Ana County Undersheriff. Governor Martinez has one stepson, Carlo, who recently served in the U.S. Navy, and is currently a student and volunteer firefighter.