The decision was made at the group’s meeting and shows Martinez’s importance to the Republican Party on a national level. Martinez is the first Latina governor in the country.
The group is dedicated to electing Republicans in gubernatorial elections across the country.
The move comes after a Republican wave election, which didn’t just touch Congress, but also Governor’s Mansions and state legislatures across the nation. Martinez easily won reelection this year, defeating Democrat Gary King.
Martinez will be second-in-command to Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam. Both will assume their new positions in the leadership of the Republican group today.
“The RGA is the most impactful political organization in the country, and I’m honored to serve as the group’s Vice Chairman as we enter 2015 with 31 Republican governors, the most for either Party in 16 years,” Martinez said in a statement. “Republican governors offer the ideas and solutions that are moving America forward, and I’m enthusiastic to work with Governor Haslam to continue the RGA’s proud record of success.”
Haslam replaces Chris Christie, the bombastic governor of New Jersey who is frequently mentioned as a likely Republican presidential candidate in 2016. Martinez has been named as a potential vice presidential pick for the Republican nominee and even a dark horse candidate for President. She has consistently denied any interest in national office.
The selection as Vice-Chair of the RGA is likely to keep the rumor mill moving forward.
“Republican governors are the standard bearers of truly meaningful reform, and from coast to coast, we’ve proven to be principled problem solvers, willing and ready to do what Washington has not,” Haslam said. “No one is achieving better results than our Republican executives in the states, and thanks to the RGA’s hard work, they can continue to drive America’s comeback.”
Christie has been a close political ally to Susana Martinez.
“The results Governor Martinez has achieved provide a solid foundation for New Mexico’s future, and I know she will have the same record of results as Vice Chairman of the RGA,” Christie said in a statement. “She is fighting every day to make the tough decisions and move her state forward, and I have no doubt her leadership at the RGA will be vital to the success of our new governors-elect and candidates in 2015.”
The RGA spent money on ads in support of Martinez in her successful reelection campaign this year.