New Mexico governor, husband to skydive at GOP fundraiser

AP News
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Posted: Sep 18, 2015 6:10 PM

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez and her husband are planning to skydive at a Republican fundraiser.

They'll be jumping from a Cessna airplane at 10,500 feet as part of an event being hosted Saturday by House Speaker Don Tripp at his home in Socorro. Corporate donors, lobbyists and at least one political action committee are expected to attend, The Santa Fe New Mexican reported Friday (http://bit.ly/1FRU8vB ).

Suggested donations for the event were $75 and about 100 people are expected.

This will mark the governor's first leap from a plane.

The target: A 450-foot by 450-foot zia symbol that was mowed into a 20-acre field by Tripp's son-in-law, Lonnie Gonzales. The symbol holds cultural and religious significance for Zia Pueblo and has become synonymous with New Mexico.

Skydive New Mexico members will be jumping as well, holding American flags. The club's skydivers jumped with an American flag last year during another fundraiser at Tripp's home, and that's what spurred the idea for the governor to take the leap.

Martinez struck up a conversation with the skydivers and said she would love to try it.

"We kind of called her on it, and she said, 'I'll do it. So will Chuck,'" Gonzales said. "And we'll throw both of 'em out of an airplane."

The fundraiser will help in the Republican effort to maintain control of the House. Last year, the GOP won the majority in the chamber, marking a first in more than 60 years. Republicans now have a 37-33 advantage over Democrats. The Senate is still controlled by Democrats.

Martinez is the nation's only Latina governor and a rising star in the Republican Party. She was re-elected in 2014 by the highest percentage of the vote to ever be garnered by a Republican gubernatorial candidate.

Martinez is currently vice chair of the Republican Governors Association.

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Information from: The Santa Fe New Mexican, http://www.sfnewmexican.com