N.M. gov. to speak at GOP convention

Martinez Enlarge photo

Martinez

ALBUQUERQUE –New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez has been tapped to speak at the Republican National Convention, a political honor that gives the first-term governor a national stage while putting to rest months-long rumors that she was on Mitt Romney’s short list of potential running mates.

“The veep rumor is over,” Martinez said following a news conference Monday about eliminating registration fees on companies doing business in New Mexico. “I’ve said it over and over and over and over, I don’t have any interest in being the vice president. I have every interest in the world of staying in New Mexico and taking care of New Mexico business.”

Martinez, the nation’s first female Hispanic governor, said the Romney campaign never talked to her about the vice presidential slot, and she was never vetted.

Martinez and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, the first female governors of their states, are among a trio of female “firsts” slated to address the gathering that begins Aug. 27.

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, the first black female to hold that job, is also scheduled to speak.

Martinez said she is humbled and honored.

Asked what she would talk about, Martinez said, “I haven’t written my speech yet, but my message certainly is that if we move America forward we move New Mexico forward as well. ... We want our folks who are unemployed to become employed.”

Martinez has for much of the last year been whispered as a running mate for Romney, in part because of the party’s desire to woo more Hispanics, who constitute the nation’s fastest-growing minority.

But Martinez said she has no special message for Latinos.

“I think what is important is that Hispanic families want the same thing as Anglo families or another family, which is to be able to go to work and provide an education to our children,” she said.

“I don’t see us being any different in the sense of what we want from our own families. We just have to have good, honest conversations with them in terms of what we are offering ... to turn America around.”