(CNN) - For New York, New Mexico and Michigan, the start of the new year means a new governor.
On Saturday, Democrat Andrew Cuomo became New York's 56th governor, Republican Susana Martinez became New Mexico's 27th governor and the nation's first female Hispanic governor and Republican Rick Snyder became Michigan's 48th governor. The three new state chiefs seized the reins amid difficult economic realities, something that remained a constant throughout the ceremonies.
(CNN) - Former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson hasn't been shy about smoking marijuana in the past, but a new interview reveals that this past may not be so distant. In an interview with The Weekly Standard released Monday, Johnson admits that he smoked marijuana recently for medicinal purposes.
Johnson is an avid supporter of the legalization of marijuana and the revelation that it's a part of his past isn't a new one. When asked if he ever smoked marijuana, he referenced Bill Clinton circa 1992 to The New Republic in November, saying "I never exhaled." But The Weekly Standard prompted a response from Johnson that puts his use of marijuana within the last two years: "It's not anything I volunteer, but you're the only person that actually asked about it," he said, "But for luck, I guess, I wasn't arrested."
(CNN) - President Obama said he wants to meet with the freshman class of governors, and the country's first female Hispanic governor-elect said she knows what she wants to say to him.
"I certainly want him to focus in on New Mexico and the issues of, one, creating jobs… reviving our economy, but also on the border," Republican Governor-elect Susana Martinez said in an interview set to air on CNN's John King, USA Wednesday. "We must secure our border."
(CNN) - Republican Susana Martinez has defeated Democratic Lt. Gov. Diane Denish in the race for New Mexico governor, CNN projects. Democratic Gov. Bill Richardson is term-limited. Martinez becomes the nation’s first female Hispanic Governor. Projections are based on CNN analysis of exit poll data.
Editor's Note: In the final 100 days before Election Day, CNN has been profiling one race at random each day from among the nation's top 100 House races, which we've dubbed "The CNN 100." Read the full list here.
Today's featured district is:
New Mexico's Second Congressional District. Rep. Harry Teague is seeking a second term.
Primary: June 1st, 2010
Where: Southern New Mexico
Days Until Election: 6
Alamogordo, New Mexico (CNN) – When CNN interviewed Susana Martinez, New Mexico's Republican candidate for Governor, we got a surprise. Our cameraman John Torigoe was trying to clip the microphone pack to the candidate's belt when she pulled away and said "Be careful, that's a gun back there." Martinez tells CNN she has a permit to carry a concealed weapon.
She was packing heat when she addressed a gathering in Alamogordo, New Mexico on Monday. She warned them not to get too confident because "as Republicans we're outnumbered."
(CNN) - Bill Clinton will continue his week of campaigning and fundraising Thursday in New Mexico when he stumps for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Diane Denish.
Clinton is lending his political prowess to Denish, who worked with the former president when she chaired the New Mexico Democratic Party and campaigned for his wife, Hillary Clinton, in the state's 2008 presidential caucus.
Editor's Note: In the final 100 days before Election Day, CNN has been profiling one race at random each day from among the nation's top 100 House races, which we've dubbed "The CNN 100." Read the full list here. Today's featured district is:
New Mexico 1st – Rep. Martin Heinrich (D) is seeking a 2nd term
Primary: June 1, 2010
Location: Central New Mexico
Days until Election Day: 87
Republicans see an opportunity to knock off a freshman Democrat in New Mexico's 1st district and reclaim a seat they had held for 40 years.
Rep. Martin Heinrich was elected to the House in 2008, one of 33 Democratic freshmen sent to Congress that year. He was a member of the Albuquerque City Council when he announced he would challenge incumbent GOP Rep. Heather Wilson, who had held the seat since 1998. Wilson narrowly won her 2006 re-election bid with 50 percent of the vote and eventually opted to run to replace retiring GOP Sen. Pete Domenici in the U.S. Senate rather than seek a sixth full term. Heinrich went on to win the House seat with 56 percent over Republican Darren White.
(CNN) – Despite all the calls for new blood in Washington and for Americans to dismiss "career politicians," thus far primary voters mostly have chosen established party insiders over farmers, businessmen and candidates from outside the political realm.
And far more incumbents have survived than have been toppled.
Listen: CNN Radio's Lisa Desjardins speaks to a young, political outsider
"The idea that there's this huge anti-incumbent wave in the election is considerably exaggerated," said Emory University political science professor Alan Abramowitz.
Abramowitz believes all four of the incumbents ousted so far are special cases, with two party switchers (Sen. Arlen Specter in Pennsylvania, Rep. Parker Griffith in Alabama), one facing corruption charges (Rep. Alan Mollohan in West Virginia) and one losing at a closed-vote party convention (Sen. Bob Bennett in Utah).
And with just one exception - New Mexico congressional candidate Tom Mullins - the outright winners from Tuesday's House primaries in Alabama, Mississippi and New Mexico were known political figures, backed by members of the establishment.
(CNN) – Voters in New Mexico made history, while voters in Alabama did not. And a second party-switching Congressional lawmaker was ousted in a primary by his new party.
Susana Martinez on Tuesday easily captured the Republican gubernatorial primary in New Mexico. She'll face off in the general election against Lt. Gov. Diane Denish, who was unopposed for the Democratic nomination. The winner in November will become New Mexico's first female governor, succeeding term-limited Democratic Gov. Bill Richardson.
With nearly all the results reported, Martinez was winning just over 50 percent of the vote in a five person primary field. The district attorney for Dona Ana County in the southern part of the state will join GOP Lt. Gov. nominee John Sanchez on an all Hispanic ticket.
Assistance from the Republican Governors Association apparently played a key role in the Martinez victory, and an endorsement and campaign visit last month from former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin also aided Martinez.