The Washington Post

An appeal to Hispanic voters

Susana Martinez, the nation’s first Latina governor, took advantage of her prime time slot, focusing her remarks on her humble family history and her bi-partisan achievements in New Mexico. Sandwiched between highly anticipated speeches by Condi Rice and Paul Ryan, Martinez said, “I was a Democrat for many years. So were my parents.”

But one day, after talking politics over lunch with two Republican friends, Martinez said she looked over at her husband, Chuck, and said, “I’ll be damned, we’re Republicans.”

But she struck a bipartisan note: “This election should not be about political parties. It is the responsibility of both parties to offer up real solutions.”

Martinez’s remarks were squarely aimed at Hispanic voters, who have been skeptical of Mitt Romney. “Growing up I never imagined a little girl from a border town could one day become a governor. But this is America. En America todo es posible!!”

She talked about little girls walking up to her in the grocery store. “They look, they point and when they get the courage they come up to me and ask ‘Is that you Susana?’ And I wonder how do you know who I am? It is in moments like these that I am reminded that we each pave the path. Those little girls, they need to know – no more barriers!”

Krissah Thompson began writing for The Washington Post in 2001. She has been a business reporter, covered presidential campaigns and written about civil rights and race. More recently, she has covered the first lady's office, politics and culture.

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