GOP's Martinez becomes first female governor of NM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - Preparations are underway today for Republican Susana Martinez to take over the New Mexico governor's office in January.

Democratic Gov. Bill Richardson named his chief of staff, Brian Condit, to lead a transition team.

Martinez defeated Democrat Diane Denish by getting 54% of the vote last night, according to unofficial returns. She is the first woman to be elected New Mexico's governor.

Richardson spokesman Gilbert Gallegos said the governor had called Martinez to offer his congratulations on her victory and promise he will help ensure a smooth transition so Martinez "can hit the ground running" when she takes office on Jan. 1.

At an election night victory party in Las Cruces, Martinez told supporters that "we have taken a decisive step toward bringing bold change to New Mexico."