POLITICS

Susana Martinez seeks second term as country's only female Hispanic governor

FILE - In this Aug. 22, 2013, file photo, Republican New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez answers a question during a panel discussion at the Wal-Mart U.S. Manufacturing Summit in Orlando, Fla. Martinez and Democratic challenger Gary King will square off Monday, Oct. 6, 2014, in a televised Spanish-language debate aimed at the state's Hispanic voters. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack, File)

FILE - In this Aug. 22, 2013, file photo, Republican New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez answers a question during a panel discussion at the Wal-Mart U.S. Manufacturing Summit in Orlando, Fla. Martinez and Democratic challenger Gary King will square off Monday, Oct. 6, 2014, in a televised Spanish-language debate aimed at the state's Hispanic voters. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack, File)

Republican Gov. Susana Martinez looks for a possible mandate from voters and a boost to her national political standing as New Mexicans decide whether she'll serve a second term as the nation's only female Hispanic governor.

If Martinez wins as expected Tuesday over Democratic challenger Gary King, it could solidify her reputation as a rising GOP star with the ability to appeal to independents, moderate Democrats and Hispanics.

Martinez maintains she's uninterested in a national office and has pledged to serve a full four-year if re-elected. But that's unlikely to stop speculation over her future as a possible GOP vice presidential contender as the focus shifts to the 2016 presidential campaign.

Martinez rocketed to national prominence four years ago in becoming the nation's first Latina governor.

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