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Will Republican Latina make history in New Mexico governor race?

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2010-11-03

Democrat Diane Denish (left) and Republican Susana Martinez (right).

The race: New Mexico governor

The candidates: Susana Martinez (Republican) vs. Diane Denish (Democrat)

The intrigue: This rare all-female governor match-up in the dusty southwestern state has become one of the most closely watched in the country. Outspoken district attorney Martinez has been mockingly nicknamed “Captain Lockstep” by the Democrats for her perceived closeness to Sarah Palin. Meanwhile, Lieutenant Governor Denish’s reputation has been tarnished by her association with unpopular incumbent Governor Bill Richardson. If elected, Martinez will become the first female Hispanic governor in the country. But can she count on the state’s left-leaning Latino voters (who make up roughly 45 % of the population) to carry her there?

The odds: Recent polls have seen the race tightening, but Martinez has consistently been the frontrunner. The fact that a Republican could win the governorship in a state that voted for Obama in 2008 by 15 points is indicative of the currently tough environment for Democrats.

Winner: Martinez

Photo on left courtesy of Flickr user Steve Terrell under the Creative Commons license. Photo on right courtesy of Wikipedia user Allen S. under the Creative Commons license.

Date created : 2010-10-09

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