Governor Martinez will not be attending the Trump rally, Albuquerque Journal
SANTA FE – Donald Trump will be greeted by ardent supporters and crowds of vocal protesters as he makes his first campaign stop in New Mexico tonight in Albuquerque.
But Governor Susana Martinez, the state’s two-time GOP governor, won’t be in the audience to hear the outspoken New York businessman who emerged as a suspected Republican presidential candidate.
Martinez, who has criticized some of Trump’s immigration-related remarks in the past and made no commitment whether or not she will support him, told reporters after a Monday press conference that she will not be attending the event at the Albuquerque Convention Center.
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When asked why, the two-year-old GOP governor who chairs the Republican Governors Association said she was “really busy.”
“I’m the governor of New Mexico, and I’m really focused on what’s going on in New Mexico,” Martinez said, referring specifically to her government’s efforts in education and economic development.
In addition, Lt. Gov. John Sanchez and the Mayor of Albuquerque, Richard Berry, will also not be in the crowd due to trips already planned, their staff announced on Monday.
Trump has attracted many ardent supporters – and major protests – at campaign rallies across the country in recent months, and the Albuquerque event is expected to be no different.
While in New Mexico, Trump will also take part in a high-paying fundraiser hosted by Kevin Daniels, the owner of a local funeral home, the Washington Post reported Monday.
Meanwhile, Albuquerque police are hoping that planned protests against Trump’s public campaign rally in Albuquerque will not turn into “chaos”.
Police spokesman Tanner Tixier said Monday the department is working with state and federal agencies to ensure all demonstrations remain peaceful, the Associated Press said.
Within an hour of Trump’s announcement that he would be visiting Albuquerque, protesters began organizing, getting 500 people to vote on social media for a protest in downtown Albuquerque.
The number of people who said they intend to gather to protest Trump’s “divisive hate speech and bigotry” rose loudly, “Trump in Albuquerque? Stop the Hate “Facebook page.
Organizers of a coalition of groups say the anti-Trump protest will begin at 4 p.m. at Second and Tijeras near the convention center – three hours before Trump’s speech is scheduled to begin. Organizers say the protest is family-friendly and peaceful, but other anti-Trump protests across the country have grown loud.
Pat Davis, an Albuquerque city councilor and executive director of ProgressNow New Mexico, a progressive political advocacy group that holds its own anti-Trump rally, said Trump’s visit to New Mexico had generated strong reactions, but added, “There are no plans that someone is arrested. “
“It’s like the circus is coming to town,” said Davis.
Trump has surprised political experts and often bumped into members of the GOP establishment on his march for the Republican presidential candidacy.
Though his name was rarely mentioned at the Republican Congress at Sandia Resort and Casino last weekend, Rosie Tripp, the Republican national committee woman of the state and wife of House Speaker Don Tripp, R-Socorro, urged her Republicans to be the party’s alleged candidate to support.
“For our chances in November it is crucial that we unite around Donald Trump,” said Tripp during the congress on Saturday. “Politics is a team sport and we cannot win if we do not gather around all of our candidates.”
On the other side of the political spectrum, the leaders of the New Mexico Democratic Party gathered Monday afternoon to express their opposition to Trump. Party leader Debra Haaland said Trump’s policies and rhetoric were “extremely harmful not only to our state, but also to our country.”
She and other party leaders said the protest would be peaceful.
Trump’s election freeze in Albuquerque won’t be the only high profile political event taking place in New Mexico today. Former President Bill Clinton will be in Española tonight to speak for his wife, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
Bill Clinton will then hold a campaign rally on Wednesday at a community center on the West Side of Albuquerque.
When you go
Details on today’s public election rallies in New Mexico:
7pm today at the Albuquerque Convention Center; Admission is from 4 p.m. You can register for tickets on Trump’s official campaign website. Paid parking is available in the Convention Center, the Bank of America parking garage on Third Street near Lomas NW, the Bank of the West parking garage near Marquette NW, Garage Gold Street, Garage Acropolis on Third Street near Copper NW, on the Civic Center subway, and an urban lot at Fourth and Marquette NW.
6:30 p.m. today in Plaza de Española; Doors open at 5:30 p.m. Clinton will also be at the Alamosa Community Center in Albuquerque at 12:45 p.m. on Wednesday.
The authors of Maggie Shepard, Dan McKay, and Jessica Dyer contributed to this report.