Susana Martinez, Prosecutor, Wins New Mexico Republican Primary In Governor's Race

06/02/2010 03:27 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011
  • AP / Huffington Post

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP / Huffington Post)-- Prosecutor Susana Martinez has won the Republican nomination for New Mexico governor.

She'll face New Mexico's Lieutenant Governor, Democrat Diane Denish, in a general election race deciding who becomes the state's first female governor.

It will be the third woman-against-woman gubernatorial general election match-up in U.S. history.

Martinez, the Dona Ana County district attorney, won a five-way contest for the GOP nomination Tuesday night with 51 percent of the vote in unofficial returns and nearly half of precincts reporting.

Former state GOP chairman Allen Weh had 29 percent.

In the weeks leading up to Tuesday's primary, Martinez won the backing of Texas developer and "Swift Boat" financier Bob J. Perry, according to The New Mexico Independent. Perry donated $450,000 to Martinez's campaign.

In 2004, Perry donated $100,000 to help found The Swift Boat VeteranS for Truth, a highly partisan non-profit group that challenged the military service of then-presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry. The group ran ads questioning the circumstances and validity of Kerry's military honors despite testimony confirming Kerry's deeds from the Senator's former crewmen.