Gov. Susana Martinez is getting off of the sideline and will endorse Florida Senator Marco Rubio for the Republican nomination.
Politico first reported the news and reported that Martinez will go on the campaign trail for Rubio in Kansas and Florida this week. The conventional wisdom is that Rubio, who is currently in third place in delegates in the Republican race, must win Florida to have any chance at winning the nomination.
Rubio has won just one of the fifteen states that have held caucuses or primaries so far.
“Marco Rubio is a compelling leader who can unite the country around conservative principles that will improve the lives of all Americans,” she said in a statement according to the Washington D.C. website. “The stakes for our great country are too high — and the differences between the candidates too great — for me to remain neutral in this race. I wholeheartedly trust Marco to keep us safe and ensure a better tomorrow.”
In 2012, Martinez stayed neutral in the presidential race until after the New Mexico’s primaries. New Mexico votes in June, well after the nominations are usually decided. At that time, she endorsed Mitt Romney, who already had the nomination all-but sewn up.
This time around, Martinez has a little added cachet. She is the head of the Republican Governors Association, a national organization of GOP governors that works to send Republicans to governor’s mansions across the country.
Martinez has recently refused to say whether or not she will support businessman Donald Trump if he becomes the nominee, which seems increasingly likely.
The Republican establishment has also had problems with whether or not they will support the outspoken and at times offensive former reality TV star; Romney himself is scheduled to attack Trump in a speech today.
Rubio, who is of Cuban descent, is one of two Hispanic candidates still in the race. Texas Senator Ted Cruz is in second place in delegates, well behind Trump.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich is also still in the race, while physician Ben Carson will announce he is suspending his campaign on Friday.