Lawmaker rose to power at Roundhouse - Albuquerque Journal

Lawmaker rose to power at Roundhouse

House Majority Leader Sheryl Williams Stapleton, D-Albuquerque, at a House Judiciary Committee meeting in 2019. Williams Stapleton is being investigated by the state Attorney General’s Office. (Eddie Moore/Albuquerque Journal)

Copyright © 2021 Albuquerque Journal

Rep. Sheryl Williams Stapleton, D-Albuquerque, has become a powerful figure in the Roundhouse since she first won office in 1994, becoming the first African American woman elected to the New Mexico Legislature. She currently serves as House majority leader, a position second only to Speaker Brian Egolf, D-Santa Fe.

The director of Career and Technical Education at Albuquerque Public Schools, Stapleton has served on numerous committees over the years but always had a seat on the House Education Committee, where she has been an advocate for teachers and school funding.

She was chosen by fellow Democrats as the House Majority Leader in 2016.

Stapleton represents District 19, which encompasses an area east of the University of New Mexico, south and north of Central Avenue to roughly Louisiana Boulevard. She has easily won reelection in recent years, taking 65% to nearly 70% of the vote in general elections.

In her years as a legislator, she has had her share of controversy.

In 2011, she referred to then-Gov. Susana Martinez, a Republican, as “the Mexican on the fourth floor.” She later apologized for the remark.

Also in 2011, questions were raised about her receiving her APS salary during the legislative session when she also received per-diem payments from the state. Stapleton said she had received approval from her supervisors to take paid leave while at the legislative sessions. All told she was paid $63,000 by APS while serving at the Legislature, according to a KRQE-TV investigation.

Stapleton was a trailblazer in that regard. Since then, it has become commonplace for public school employees to serve in the Legislature without having their pay docked for being absent for legislative duties.

Over the years she has sponsored legislation related to education, African American affairs and criminal justice.

She also pushed legislation creating the Sheryl Williams Stapleton African American Performing Arts Center at Expo New Mexico, which now figures in the attorney general’s investigation.

Biographies, including a Wikipedia page, say she was born in St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands in 1957 or 1958 and graduated from high school in New York City. She graduated from New Mexico State University with a degree in education in 1978.

She received a master’s degree in multicultural education from the University of New Mexico in 1987 and a doctorate in education from UNM in 2013.

She began her career at Albuquerque Public Schools as an elementary school teacher in 1984. She later became an assistant principal at the Career Enrichment Center and then project director and coordinator for Career and Technical Education.

She is married to Edreade Stapleton.

Stapleton focus of kickback probe

Affidavits: APS vendor paid $950K to 4 entities tied to Stapleton

Lawmakers to launch Stapleton ethics probe

Home » News » Crime » Lawmaker rose to power at Roundhouse

Insert Question Legislature form in Legis only stories




Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

taboola desktop

ABQjournal can get you answers in all pages

 

Questions about the Legislature?
Albuquerque Journal can get you answers
Email addresses are used solely for verification and to speed the verification process for repeat questioners.
1
Rio Rancho police shoot, kill person after confrontation at ...
ABQnews Seeker
Rio Rancho Police officers shot and ... Rio Rancho Police officers shot and killed somebody during a confrontation at an apartment complex shortly after midnight Tuesday.
2
'It's been a great ride': Longtime Balloon Fiesta executive ...
ABQnews Seeker
Longtime Balloon Fiesta executive director is ... Longtime Balloon Fiesta executive director is retiring
3
California is lone holdout in Colorado River cuts proposal
ABQnews Seeker
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) -- Six Western ... FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) -- Six Western states that rely on water from the Colorado River have agreed on a model to dramatically cut water ...
4
New Mexico faces a budget abyss if oil and ...
ABQnews Seeker
Report predicts $36 billion revenue deficit ... Report predicts $36 billion revenue deficit in 15 years possible
5
Senate panel, on party-line vote, approves bill increasing minimum ...
ABQnews Seeker
A push to increase the minimum ... A push to increase the minimum age to buy certain firearms from 18 to 21 cleared its first Senate hurdle Monday, after a heated ...
6
Bill aimed at bolstering NM's patchwork rural health care ...
ABQnews Seeker
A proposal to tap New Mexico's ... A proposal to tap New Mexico's revenue windfall to bolster health care services in rural parts of the state where residents frequently have to ...
7
New Mexico bill to restrict lobbyist ‘revolving door’ advances
ABQnews Seeker
A proposal moving through the Senate ... A proposal moving through the Senate would prohibit former legislators and appointees working under the governor from returning immediately to the Roundhouse as paid ...
8
New Mexico’s checkerspot butterfly placed on Endangered Species List
ABQnews Seeker
With more Sacramento Mountains checkerspot butterflies ... With more Sacramento Mountains checkerspot butterflies being raised at the ABQ BioPark than found in the wild, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is ...
9
No drama for birthday llama: ABQ llama celebrates 27th ...
ABQnews Seeker
'This llama is bringing everyone together,' ... 'This llama is bringing everyone together,' says family friend