Susana Martinez, one of the Republican Party’s fastest-rising stars, will not appear at an annual gathering of conservative activists next month.

The New Mexico governor was scheduled to speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), the confab’s organizer Al Cardenas told Fusion last week. An adviser to Martinez said Thursday, however, that her appearance was never confirmed.

“Unfortunately, the governor was never able to attend due to the fact the event takes place toward the end of the legislative signing period, when she is making final decisions on bills,” Danny Diaz, a political adviser to Martinez, said in an email.

The news was first reported by Real Clear Politics.

A spokesman for the American Conservative Union, the group which organizes CPAC, blamed the original announcement on “an internal error.”

“We have personally apologized to Governor Susana Martinez and her staff and look forward to welcoming her in the future,” the spokesman said.

Martinez’s speech was highly anticipated among those who believe the first Latina governor could be a dark horse candidate for president or vice president in 2016.

CPAC typically serves as a showcase for potential GOP presidential candidates, and Martinez declined to attend the event last year.

Although she has expressed little interest in running for national office, Martinez has generated presidential buzz ever since she was elected governor in 2010.

That’s not just because of her last name. She gave a rousing speech at the Republican National Convention in 2012 and continues to have high approval ratings in a state that President Obama won in each of the last two elections.

Martinez has continued to downplay interest in running for president. She faces re-election as governor this fall.

Other potential GOP candidates who will speak at CPAC include Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Chris Christie, Rand Paul, Rick Santorum, Rick Perry, Bobby Jindal and Paul Ryan, according to organizers.

This piece was updated to include reaction from the American Conservative Union on February 14, 2014 at 3:46 pm.


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