SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, who chairs the Republican Governors Association, voiced her support Tuesday for the embattled governor of North Carolina after canceling a visit to the state amid controversy over a new law involving access to public restrooms by transgender people.
Martinez said through a spokesman that a scheduling conflict forced her to change plans, not fallout from the law that prohibits transgender people from using public restrooms that don't match their gender assigned at birth.
"Gov. Martinez strongly supports Gov. (Pat) McCrory and looks forward to campaigning for him later this year," said Chris Sanchez, a spokesman for Martinez.
Instead of traveling to the North Carolina convention, Martinez will attend a 50th anniversary celebration for the Sandia Peak Tram on May 7. The 4,000-vertical-foot tramway is a popular tourist attraction that links the outskirts of Albuquerque with restaurants and hiking trails atop the Sandia Mountains.
Martinez has crisscrossed the country over the past year to help raise money for the Republican Governors Association, a fundraising arm of the GOP for gubernatorial and statewide election efforts.
McCrory, who is running for re-election, stands by the state's new bathroom-access regulation but wants legislators to repeal restrictions on discrimination claims by workers.
California online payments company PayPal abandoned plans to expand into Charlotte in response to the legislation.