March 16, 2016

Martinez won’t endorse after Rubio drops out

Gov. Susana Martinez

Gov. Susana Martinez

After the failure of her preferred candidate, New Mexico’s governor is staying neutral in presidential race for now.

Gov. Susana Martinez

NM Political Report

Gov. Susana Martinez

Susana Martinez endorsed Marco Rubio earlier this month. Less than two weeks later, the Florida Senator was blown out in his home state by businessman and reality TV star Donald Trump. After the big loss, Rubio dropped out of the race, ending a disappointing presidential race by winning just one state and two territories.

In New Mexico, the attention turned to who Martinez would endorse.

Would she follow fellow governor Nikki Haley and transfer her support from Rubio to Ted Cruz? Would she back John Kasich? Or even Donald Trump?

She rebuffed KOB-TV’s efforts to get an answer on Tuesday night, but on Wednesday afternoon told the Associated Press that she was staying neutral.

From the Associated Press:

A spokesman for the nation’s only Latina governor on Wednesday said only that Martinez is proud to have stood by Rubio and will continue to watch the GOP primary race as it unfolds.

Martinez has repeatedly declined to say whether she would vote for GOP primary front-runner Donald Trump if he wins the nomination. She previously denounced Trump when he compared Mexican immigrants to rapists and drug dealers.

As NM Political Report noted in last night’s edition of Odds and Ends, the questions about Donald Trump will only intensify as he moves closer to securing the Republican nomination.

In 2012, Martinez waited until after the June primary to endorse Mitt Romney, even though he had long-since wrapped up the Republican nomination.

This year sees Cruz, a U.S. Senator from Texas, and Kasich, the governor of Ohio, attempting to stop Trump from getting a majority of the delegates. Trump is the only candidate with a realistic shot of having a majority of delegates going into the Republican National Convention this summer.

New Mexico’s primaries for both Democratic and Republican candidates take place in June.