Both gubernatorial campaigns caught in controversy

Gary King and Susana Martinez

SANTA FE (KRQE) – Both campaigns for governor are facing big problems Tuesday.

One for what was said on Twitter about overweight women and the other accused of lying in an email.

“We worked hard to get here, but I think the real hard part of the race starts tomorrow,” said Gary King two weeks ago when he won the Democratic nomination for governor to run against Republican incumbent Susana Martinez.

However, King probably didn’t forsee this, controversial tweets the Washington Free Beacon caught coming from King’s new campaign manager Steve Verzwyvelt’s account.

One from two years ago reads, “Fat girls should not wear bikinis.”

Another says, “Just got eye banged by a big girl. That’s my signal that it’s time to go.”

So, now after just two days on the job, King’s camp confirms the Louisiana-based Verzwyvelt has resigned.

King said in a statement; “While they were his personal views, Mr. Verzwyvelt’s comments were, nonethless not up to the standards of what I expect from my employees and in direct conflict with my own beliefs of tolerance, respect and decency. He has resigned his position immediately.”

Martinez’ campaign is also under fire after sending out an email last week that supposedly showed words of support from a small business owner.

Except the Las Vegas bakery owner said he never said those things.

The email said Juan Garcia released a statement saying in part, “Governor Martinez has proven that she is a pro-business leader who will fight to cut taxes and reduce regulations. Gary King has a history of raising taxes and would take us back to the days when anti-business policies strangled our mom and pop stores and hurt New Mexico’s families.”

Garcia said the campaign put words in his mouth and, while he did agree to show support for Martinez, he never said anything to bash King.

A Martinez spokesperson responded to our requests for an interview with a statement saying, “Dozens of small business owners have endorsed Governor Susana Martinez and we regret that an apparent miscommunication with our staff resulted in this situation and we immediately corrected the error.”

The spokesperson did not further explain the “miscommunication.”

As for King’s now-former campaign manager, Verzwyvelt told the Washington Beacon he doesn’t remember tweeting those things and that his Twitter account may have been hacked a couple years ago.

King said he wasn’t aware of those tweets until now. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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