TAMPA, FL (KRQE) - From her modest upbringing to her rise to the state's top job, Gov. Susana Martinez was a crowd-pleaser at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, FL, taking digs at President Barack Obama and cracking jokes along the way.
Watch: Martinez's full speech
Martinez said she understood the importance of her role at the convention and of her prime-time time slot in firing up the Republican base.
The governor used her ten minutes on stage to share her story, from her El Paso days of working last as a teen as a security guard at her parents' small business to standing up for abused kids as a prosecutor in Las Cruces to being elected the nation's first Latina governor.
"I carried a Smith and Wesson .357 magnum -- that gun weighed more than I did!" the governor joked about her days as a guard as crowds erupted in laughter and applause.
"Growing up, I never imagined a little girl from a border town could one day become a governor," said Martinez. "But this is America. Y, en America, todo es posible."
For a party trying to court Hispanic and female voters, the choice in Gov. Martinez is obvious. And Martinez knew she had a job to do. She used her prime-time gig to compare her record in New Mexico to President Barack Obama's.
"In New Mexico, I inherited the largest structural deficit in state history. And our legislature is controlled by Democrats. We don't always agree. But we came together -in a bi-partisan manner-and turned that deficit into a surplus.All without raising taxes."
"That's not the kind of leadership we are seeing from Barack Obama. He promised to bring us all together -- to cut unemployment, to pass immigration reform in his first year, to cut the deficit in half in his first term. Do you remember that? But he hasn't come close."
Martinez admitted that she and GOP nominee Mitt Romney are different, but she said Romney is the only candidate to protect the American dream.
"(Romney is) the one leader who will fight hard to keep the promise of America for the next generation. And that's why we must stand up and make Mitt Romney the next President of the United States."
Hours before Martinez took the stage, a group called "Women for Obama" rallied in response to the governor's speech and the GOP platform. Critics said Martinez's support of the Republican ticket means preventative healthcare for women will become more expensive.
Other groups also said the governor's repeated calls for repealing the law that gives driver's licenses to illegal immigrants is an attack on the Latino community.
Martinez stayed away from her views on immigration and other policy in her speech tonight, and critics said that speaks volumes.
"The GOP party is trying to paint itself as moderate as pro-women, pro-Hispanic, but the record speaks for itself," said Javier Martinez, Ward Vice-Chair of the Democratic Party of New Mexico. "She knows better than to talk about her failed policies in New Mexico, which have not improved educaion and which have not made the business environment more fair."
Gov. Martinez was reportedly on a short list of Vice President candidates for Romney. Now there's talk she could be in line for a cabinet spot if Romney wins. A governor's spokesman says she would not accept a position if offered one.
Santa can't do it all alone. He needs elves to help with the toys and he needs the post office to help with the deliveries.
After joining a program that helps disadvantage kids, a man entrusted with children is accused of using the program to prey on a young boy.
Thieves are leaving big, gaping holes around Roswell.
A pedestrian is in critical condition Thursday night after being struck by a car in downtown Albuquerque.
New Mexico honored a fallen hero Thursday as family, friends and law enforcement officers gathered for the funeral of Sandoval County Sheriff's Sergeant Robert Baron.
It seems with every game this season he looks like the best player on the court. Lobos senior forward Cameron Bairstow continues to shine.