Who’s Who in the New NM House Democratic Leadership
This afternoon, the now-minority NM House Democrats chose their new leadership team. You’ll be hearing these names a lot once the 2015 legislative session starts. So look below to learn more about the representatives taking over the reigns of Democratic leadership in the NM House.
House Minority Leader
Brian Egolf (District 47, Santa Fe)
Elected to the NM House of Representatives from Santa Fe in 2008, Brian Egolf is a practicing attorney in Santa Fe and has served as the Chairman of the House Energy and Natural Resources Committee since 2011.
Known as one of New Mexico’s most progressive legislators, before joining the NM House Egolf worked in the Bill Clinton White House, the US Treasury Department, and for Congressman Tom Udall. Egolf has made a name for himself in the state capitol as a proponent of conservation and clean energy, even notching 100% scores on Conservation Voters of New Mexico’s annual scorecards. The conservative blog New Mexico Watchdog has called Egolf “perhaps the most outspoken critic” of the fossil fuel industry, noting that Egolf has challenged “claims that the so-called ‘pit rule’ has hindered oil and gas exploration in the state, aggressively [cut] greenhouse gas emissions and [called] for greater state investment in “green jobs.”
Rep. Egolf will officially take over as the House Minority Leader in January 2015. He was elected by the caucus on the first ballot.
House Minority Whip
Sheryl Williams Stapleton (District 19, Bernalillo)
2015 will be a comeback year for ABQ’s SE Heights legislator who was ousted from this post in 2013. She was re-elected to the post for the 2015-16 term.
The only non-lawyer to make the new House Democratic leadership team, Rep. Stapleton is an educator from Albuquerque who has served on the House Education committee and as Vice-Chair of the House Labor and Human Resources committee. Rep. Stapleton has served in the NM legislature since 1995.
An ardent and life-long educator, Rep, Stapleton has a Master’s Degree in Multicultural Education, an advanced degree in Education Administration, and is currently pursuing a doctorate in Educational Leadership at the University of New Mexico. She’s also been active in the Democratic Party (from her website):
“She has served as both the Vice Chair and Chair of the New Mexico Democratic Party and has been the Vice President of the Association of State Democratic Chairs. She was chosen as an Elector to the Electoral College attending the Democratic National Convention six times as a delegate including twice as a delegate for President Clinton, once each for Al Gore and John Kerry, and most recently for President Obama. Sheryl has been a member of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators for sixteen years, where she continues to serve and was one of the first chosen in our state to provide leadership to the Office to Support Obama in New Mexico. She currently sits on the national Democratic Committee.”
Patricia Roybal Caballero (District 13, Bernalillo)
A member of the 2013 class in the legislator, Roybal Caballero will assume the job of caucus chair for the new Democratic minority.
A community organizer focussed on growing local groups and economic development, Roybal Caballero has been a sharp critic of Governor Martinez and strong advocate for those less fortunate. She previously served as vice-chair of the Consumer and Public Affairs committee.