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Governor says future does not include judgeship, Senate race

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Gov. Susana Martinez, with the first gentleman Chuck Franco, right, delivers her State of the State address during a joint session of the House and Senate on Tuesday. (Eddie Moore/ Albuquerque Journal)

SANTA FE – She isn’t interested in the U.S. Senate, and you can forget about a federal judgeship.

Oh, and she hasn’t even thought about becoming attorney general.

Republican Gov. Susana Martinez took the opportunity late Thursday to clear up a few rumors, in a rare 25-minute question-and-answer session with reporters in her cabinet room.

“No, boring,” she said when asked about joining the federal judiciary. “I never wanted to be a judge. I don’t find it to be as exciting as being a prosecutor.”

Martinez is wrapping up her second term as governor and cannot run for re-election this year. She hasn’t revealed what plans, if any, she has for politics after her term expires Dec. 31.

“I will not make any decisions about my future until the last day,” Martinez said. But “no one says I won’t have some excitement in my life. I enjoy working – I enjoy working a lot. I won’t sit back and do nothing, for sure.”

Martinez served as the top state prosecutor in Doña Ana County before winning election as governor in 2010. She is the nation’s only Latina governor.

She told reporters she isn’t interested in being a senator: “Why would I want to be one of 100? I’m one of 50” as a governor, she said.

Martinez said she doesn’t want to serve as chancellor of New Mexico State University or become a law school dean. “I will never walk into another law school in my life,” she said.

She shared thoughts on a few other topics, too, as reporters peppered her with questions. Martinez said she:

⋄  Won’t pursue a work requirement for people on Medicaid, though she believes people receiving food stamps or similar assistance should either work, go to school or volunteer.

⋄  Expanded Medicaid under Obamacare without considering the politics. “I did not make it political,” she said. “I made the decision based on the need. I didn’t reflect on how other Republicans would view me or not.”

⋄  Doesn’t buy into the data-driven models used by courts to decide which defendants should be released before trial. “I don’t think an algorithm of some sort or a tool of some sort can replace the judgment of a judge that lives within the community, understands the community, sees the person in front of them and hears arguments” about the nature of the charges, she said.

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