New Mexico governor Susana Martinez will speak before vice-presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan at the RNC on August 29th. (Photo/AP Images )

Governor Susana Martinez to speak at Republican National Convention

New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez, the nation’s first female Latina governor, will be one of the featured speakers at the Republican National Convention at the end of this month.  Martinez  is also New Mexico’s first woman governor.

“Americans want to work,” said Governor Martinez in a written statement following the announcement. “They want to build their businesses, compete and succeed in order to create more jobs – Mitt Romney knows this is the formula for our economic growth,” she stated. The Governor added the convention will give Romney the momentum he needs, as he seeks to win the November election.

“We are thrilled that Governor Susana Martinez will be speaking at the Republican National Convention,” says RNC spokesperson Alexandra Franceschi.  “As the first Latina Governor, she is one of the many Hispanic rising stars of the Republican party,” she says, adding,  “her message of job creation, reducing government spending, and putting our economic first will be well received by all Americans across the country.”

Martinez has been in the national spotlight for some time now.  She has been the subject of articles in national and international publications.  Martinez was a former prosecutor in New Mexico before running for governor and winning the election in 2010. Martinez has stressed her focus has been on fiscal and education reform.

On the topic of immigration, the Mexican-American governor has come out against drivers’ licenses for undocumented immigrants, saying her focus is on maintaining law and order.  Martinez, however, does not support an Arizona-style law for New Mexico, saying she does not see the need for a law like SB1070.  She also publicly questioned Mitt Romney’s comments on “self deportation,” saying “what the heck does that mean?”

University of New Mexico political scientist Gabriel Sánchez says “the fact that both parties are having Latinos featured so prominently speaks to the relevance of Hispanics in the 2012 race.”  Last week the Democratic National Committee announced Democratic Houston Mayor Julián Castro will be a keynote speaker at the Democratic National Convention.

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