Susana Martinez Says No To A White House Run


New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez has been a rising star in the GOP ever since first being elected in 2010. Last year, after Mitt Romney clinched the GOP nomination, her name was often mentioned as a potential running mate. Now, her name is on many people’s list of potential Presidential candidates. Martinez, though, says she’s not interested:

Gov. Susana Martinez has a one-word answer for anyone who asks whether she’ll run for president: No.

The first-term Republican, in town for a major fundraiser for her re-election campaign hosted by some of the biggest names in the GOP, says she’s happy with her current job, and that she feels she owes it to a very specific segment of her constituency to serve out her two terms.

“As the first Hispanic female governor in the country, I have a lot of little girls who come up to me, and they know who I am. They know that I’m the governor. They get big-eyed and they call me by my first name, and I’ve got to set an example for them and pave a path for them,” Martinez said in an interview. “I can’t abandon this job and not do it honorably and to the fullest extent possible that benefits them. And so I wouldn’t do it because of them.”

Before you dismiss that as what we usually hear from people who really are thinking about a Presidential run, I’d remind you of what James Joyner posted last year regarding Martinez’s other reason for wanting to stay close to New Mexico:

It’s a question she has batted away since before she took office, but speculation about Gov. Susana Martinez becoming the Republicans’ nominee for vice president just won’t stop, no matter how often she says “no.”

Political pundits say the first-term Republican governor could be an ideal running mate for the eventual GOP presidential nominee. They note she’s the nation’s first Hispanic female governor and say she could attract female and Hispanic voters who appear to favor President Barack Obama over presumptive Republican challenger Mitt Romney.

And politicos are quick to point out that a politician’s “no” doesn’t always hold true when a call from a presidential candidate comes. Think back to 2008 when then U.S. Sen. Joe Biden was asked whether he would take the vice president spot if asked by Obama. He replied: “No. I promise. No.”

But Martinez insists that when she says “no,” she means it.

Martinez told the Journal recently that her responsibility as guardian of her developmentally disabled sister, Lettie, in Las Cruces is one that she can’t take to Washington, D.C., regardless of who calls.

“The family has to be a consideration, and for me to take (my sister) to Washington would be to separate her from … the family that’s down there, and that would be devastating,” Martinez said. “I just couldn’t do it.”

Staying in Las Cruces allows Martinez’s 54-year-old sister to remain near their father, Jake, who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease and lives nearby in El Paso, Martinez said. Despite the Alzheimer’s, Martinez has said, her father has continued to recognize her sister.

So, when Martinez says no, she means it.

FILED UNDER: 2016 Election, US Politics, , , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Tony W says:

    “If nominated, I will not accept; if drafted, I will not run; if elected, I will not serve”

  2. MarkedMan says:

    Wow. A female Republican governor who feels obligated to complete her first term. Who woulda thunk it?

  3. Caj says:

    Give her credit for finishing out her two terms unlike her counterpart half term governor, Sarah Palin. It makes no difference if she decided to run, she wouldn’t be any better than Sarah Palin. Being a woman and Hispanic would not help her anyway. It’s the fact she’s a Republican is the problem. She spouts the same old tired crap they all spout and the people said no to that, not only once but twice. So if their message never changes and they refuse to move forward and become more inclusive of ALL they will never set foot inside the White House again.

  4. Surreal American says:


    Give her credit for finishing out her two terms unlike her counterpart half term governor, Sarah Palin.

    She hasn’t been re-elected yet. Susana Martinez is only on her first term as NM gov.

  5. stonetools says:

    She really hasn’t been asked yet. Its commonplace for people to say they aren’t interested in particular posts and they are committed to serving out their terms-until they are asked.
    I’m pretty sure that in 2006 both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton said they weren’t interested in running for the Presidency-but a year later….

  6. Franklin says:

    Well at the very least I respect her choices with regards to her family.

  7. Caj says:

    @Surreal American:

    Well, I give her credit for serving out her first term then. My bad.

  8. rudderpedals says:

    Caution, local partisian politics in play. Elevating Sebelius and Napolitano turned their former mansion digs over to the other party. Fear of New Mexico going back to the D side has got to be a consideration.

  9. Surreal American says:


    I give her credit for smarter governing than her counterpart in neighboring Arizona. Then again, even Jan Brewer isn’t behaving like Jan Brewer these days:

  10. superdestroyer says:

    Unless one can create a scenario where the Republicans can win a majority of the electorial votes n the 2016, one should just ignore all the talk of Republicans running for president.

    Since there is little chance that the Republicans can win in 2016 even if the Democrats get themselves involved in a major scandal, wonks and pundits would probably be better off ignoring all of the talk. It will be hard to find anything more irrelevant than the Republicans primary season in 2016.