New Mexico Gov. Martinez Feted in Washington

Friday, 07 Jun 2013 11:43 AM

By Lisa Barron

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Susana Martinez, the nation's only female Hispanic governor, is showing her mettle as a rising star in the Republican Party as she raises big bucks for her re-election campaign.

The New Mexico governor took in $220,000 at a Washington, D.C., fundraiser on Tuesday that was attended by major GOP donors and leading lawmakers including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, and Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus.

"What appeals to me about Susana is she doesn't posture, doesn't engage in harsh rhetoric, she just says what she's going to do and does it," technology executive Bobbie Kilberg, who hosted the fundraising event with her husband," told The Hill.

Martinez's trip to Washington came after a recent fundraising event in Texas. She is scheduled to give the keynote speech at the Ohio Republican Party's annual dinner June 29 in Columbus.

But Martinez, 53, who was a Democrat before changing parties in 1995, has publicly ruled out a bid for the White House, telling Fox News's Greta Van Susteren on Tuesday that she had "zero" interest in running.

"The governor has been very clear about this. She feels she's been entrusted by the people of New Mexico with a charge to enact reform, and she has committed to fulfilling the promises she's made to the electorate," a top Martinez adviser told The Hill, adding, "She's seeking re-election in 2014 and intends to fulfill her term should she be fortunate enough to serve as governor of the state."

"To a person, even in just very private meetings, all they're focused on is winning re-election next year in New Mexico and focused on governing New Mexico right now," agreed Washington-based consultant and lobbyist Lee Cowen, who is on Martinez's national finance committee.

But, she continued, "Will other people talk about her for potential higher office? Absolutely . . . She's getting talked about more and more."

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