Republican Martinez claims NM governor's seat

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By BARRY MASSEY
The Associated Press
Wednesday, November 3, 2010; 12:05 AM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- Republican Susana Martinez has won the New Mexico governor's race, making history as the first Hispanic woman to become a state's chief executive.

The 51-year-old Martinez defeated Democrat Diane Denish to also become New Mexico's first female governor.

There was no incumbent in the race. Democratic Gov. Bill Richardson was barred from seeking re-election because he served two consecutive terms.

Martinez, a career prosecutor, made Richardson a central figure in the campaign. She ran as if the election was a referendum on the governor, whose popularity sank amid high unemployment and federal investigations into pay-to-play allegations.

Denish has served as lieutenant governor since 2003 and was Richardson's running mate in 2002 and 2006.


© 2010 The Associated Press

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