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Martinez campaigning across NJ with Christie

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Gov. Susana Martinez spent Monday barnstorming across New Jersey with fellow Republican Gov. Chris Christie.

With New Jersey’s gubernatorial election set for today, Christie and Martinez traveled the state on the election’s eve, making stops at rallies and campaign offices in at least six different towns.

The governor’s trip could be the latest evidence of a burgeoning political alliance.

Christie, who has been touted as a possible 2016 GOP presidential candidate, had previously appeared at a campaign stop in Roswell with Martinez about a month before the 2010 New Mexico gubernatorial election.

Martinez returned the favor this week, though the Christie campaign will pay for the travel costs of Martinez and her husband, Chuck Franco, Martinez political adviser Jay McCleskey said.

A Christie campaign spokesman told the Newark-based Star-Ledger that having Martinez on the campaign trail would help the Christie campaign make a statement about the “non-traditional support” it is receiving.

Martinez is the nation’s first elected Latina governor.

The New Jersey trip was not Martinez’s first out-of-state trip on behalf of another gubernatorial candidate. She also traveled to Washington last year to stump for Republican Rob McKenna, who ended up losing his race.

Martinez, who left New Mexico on Sunday, is scheduled to return to the state today, McCleskey said.

Education summit

While New Mexico’s governor was in New Jersey, chief executives from several other states were gathering at a downtown Santa Fe hotel on Monday.

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert and American Samoa Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga attended the single-day summit at the Inn at Loretto, which was focused on aligning education with future workforce needs.

Martinez was listed as a co-host of the summit – along with Fallin – but did not attend.

Instead, Lt. Gov. John Sanchez and Public Education Secretary-designate Hanna Skandera both took part in the summit on Martinez’s behalf, the governor’s spokesman Enrique Knell said.

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