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New Mexico: Battle for the Statehouse

Incumbent: Gov. Bill Richardson (D) is term-limited

Democrat: Lt. Gov. Diane Denish

Republican: Dona Ana County D.A. Susana Martinez

2008 Presidential Result: Obama 57%; McCain 42%

55+ Population (2009 estimate): 24.7%

Overview: Diane Denish and Susana Martinez are fighting the federal budget battle in microcosm, especially when it comes to the business environment. Martinez calls for cutting taxes on business, but concedes those taxes can't be cut right away because the economy is too soft. Denish wants to use government programs to expand credit for business and have the government issue "micro loans" to small start-ups.

50+ Facts: Check the latest economic statistics and details on the state budget deficit.

Fun Fact: No matter who wins, New Mexico will have its first female governor.

'Wild Card' Issue: A New Mexico law that allowed retired public employees to return to work and still collect a pension. Martinez says it went too far, but acknowledges that her husband, Chuck Franco, earns a pension from his retirement as Dona Ana County's under sheriff and still pulls down an annual salary of $77,000 for that job.

Introduction: Governors' Races Hold High Stakes for the Future

POLITICS_govt elections

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