Martinez not ready to endorse Trump

Gov. Susana Martinez.

And even though she continues to pop up on lists as a possible vice presidential choice, she reiterated Wednesday that she’s not interested.

A spokesman for Martinez said Wednesday that the governor wants “to hear how Mr. Trump plans to address issues that directly affect New Mexicans – like how he plans to protect our labs and military bases and end the dysfunction in Washington that has hurt New Mexico more than any other state in the country.”

The statement was issued a day after Trump’s big win in Indiana drove his closest rival, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, out of the race.

Cruz’s decision, followed Wednesday by Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s announcement that he, too, was dropping out, leaves Trump the only Republican in line for the nomination. He is likely to face Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton in the November general election.

CNN on Wednesday cited an unnamed Trump aide saying Martinez was on the Manhattan billionaire’s preliminary short list for vice president.

Martinez “has said repeatedly over the years that she isn’t interested in serving as vice president,” Martinez spokesman Michael Lonergan said. “She appreciates that such attention puts New Mexico in the spotlight, but she is fully committed to serving the people of our state.”

Martinez has denounced Trump’s remarks about Mexican immigrants on more than one occasion, and last year she called his assertion that many immigrants are rapists and drug dealers “horrible.”

The Washington Post reported last month that Martinez blasted Trump during a lunch attended by about 60 Republican donors.

Also short of an endorsement was a statement Wednesday from Rep. Steve Pearce, New Mexico’s lone congressional Republican, who said, “I firmly believe in the power of the people to make the choice as to who will be the GOP nominee, and I will respect that.”

In New Mexico, the developments in the presidential race dashed hopes that the state could end up playing a key role in the GOP’s selection of a presidential nominee if the race went down to the wire. The primary election is June 7.

State Rep. Rod Montoya, R-Farmington, had been working to get fellow Cruz supporters elected as party delegates to the Republican National Convention. Now, he’s in “wait-and-see” mode about how excited to get about Trump.

“I’m wanting to see … does he embrace the large number of people who were supporting Ted Cruz because of his constitutional conservatism?” Montoya told the Journal on Wednesday.

State GOP Chairman Debbie Maestas said she doesn’t expect Trump’s prospective nomination to be hard for other Republican candidates’ supporters to swallow.

“I don’t see that being a struggle. There’s a bigger goal here. … We need to rally together, and we need to support our nominee,” she said.

Democrats were quick to say that Republican candidates in New Mexico will face “tough questions on whether they stand with Trump and his racist rhetoric and reckless policy ideas.”

They announced that Hillary Clinton for New Mexico’s Albuquerque organizing office would open Friday, with high-profile Democrats in attendance, including Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., Rep. Ben Ray Luján, D-N.M., and New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas.