Las Crucens React to Martinez's Run for Governor

POSTED: Friday, July 17, 2009 - 4:46pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, February 17, 2010 - 2:24pm

LAS CRUCES- As being a well-known district attorney for 12 years, Susana Martinez's announcement for her gubernatorial run was welcome with open arms by most Las Crucens we spoke with.

"I'll tell you what. If we don't get behind this gal, there's something wrong. She's a prime candidate and just a natural for this. She ought to do very well. She has my support," said Charles Viramontes of Mesilla.

"She would end up being the first woman governor and I think she would do a great job," said John Zarzecki of Las Cruces.

Even Democrats have voted for Martinez, a republican.

"I thought she was the best person. That's the only way I vote. I may be a democrat, but I will vote for whoever is the best person qualified to do the job," said democrat Don Kepple.

It's that kind of bi-partisan appeal Dona Ana County Republican Party Chair, Mark Van Dyke, says will help Susana go far in the state republican primary in June of next year.

"She's from here, so she doesn't have to worry about Southern New Mexico as much as she does have to spend some time up in Albuquerque getting to know folks," said Van Dyke.

While excited by her announcement, Van Dyke says there will be plenty of roadblocks for her to break through to get the republican nod.

First, Greg Zanetti.
He's a National Guard Brigadier General and financier in Albuquerque, the first to announce he'll run for the republican ticket.
He's a man with a background in economics; a hot topic with most New Mexicans.

Martinez may have some political veterans to face on the Republican side as well, including former New Mexico state party chair Allen Weh, State Rep. Janice Arnold-Jones, and former Congresswoman Heather Wilson.

And Van Dyke says there's another big hurdle.
"Obviously it's very expensive to run for governor. you have to raise a lot of money. it's terribly time consuming. and it's a lot of hard work," he said.

Martinez is a woman virtually unknown in state-wide politics, which makes raising money that much tougher.

On the Democratic side, there is one democrat who has already announced; Lt. Gov. Diane Denish.

Current Gov. Bill Richardson cannot run again because his term limits have run out.

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