Palin endorses candidate in 5-way New Mexico race

PRIMARY: Former governor joins district attorney to speak at rally.

May 16, 2010 

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- Sarah Palin had a couple of requests for the hundreds of cheering fans who turned out Sunday morning to see her and Susana Martinez, who is in a five-way race for the GOP nomination for governor.

The former Alaska governor asked those in the crowd to join her in supporting Martinez, a southern New Mexico district attorney, and to continue pushing for reforms that will recharge America's economy and put an end to government corruption.

With Martinez at her side, Palin said, "You have the winner here: someone who is proudly pro-life, pro-Second Amendment, pro-family, anti-tax, anti-big government."

Palin, who has been popular with tea party activists, acknowledged that her support of Martinez could be a double-edged sword. However, she said Martinez would be able to handle whatever criticism might come her way because "she is a strong woman" who is willing to put herself on the line to make New Mexico a better place.

Martinez is running against former state Republican Party chairman Allen Weh, state Rep. Janice Arnold-Jones, attorney Pete Domenici Jr., and businessman Doug Turner.

Democratic Lt. Gov. Diane Denish is unopposed for her party's gubernatorial nomination.

Martinez said Sunday she was honored to have Palin's support. It comes just two weeks before New Mexico's June 1 primary.

Palin's endorsement of Martinez is the latest in a string of endorsements the former Alaska governor has made in congressional and gubernatorial races around the country.

Earlier this week, Palin threw her support behind Nikki Haley, the only woman running for governor in South Carolina. The week before, she riled some conservatives when she endorsed former Hewlett-Packard Co. CEO Carly Fiorina in California's U.S. Senate race over their favorite, Chuck DeVore.

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