On Friday July 30, New Mexico House Majority Floor Leader Representative Sheryl Williams Stapleton, District 19, abruptly resigned from the New Mexico House of Representatives ending a 27-year rise to power. Williams Stapleton stands accused of fraud, racketeering, money laundering, receiving illegal kickbacks and violations of the state’s Governmental Conduct Act. The allegations involve a kickback scheme with an Albuquerque Public Schools (APS) vendor that was paid more than $5 million for over a decade . According to news reports, bank records reveal businesses, including a restaurant, and charities Stapleton either owns or had close ties to received more than $950,000. She is also being investigated by the Justice Department on the monies she administered in federal grants to APS.
It is now the responsibility of the Bernalillo County Commission to fill the vacancy in the New Mexico House of Representatives with a simple majority vote of the 5-member commission. Who is ever selected by the County Commission will be sworn immediately, will serve in the New Mexico legislature during the upcoming 2022 legislative session. That person must stand for election in 2022.
On August 11, David Montoya announced that he is a candidate to fill the District 19 house vacancy. Mr. Montoya has submitted the following guest column for consideration by the Bernalillo County Commission and the voters of New Mexico House District 19.
EDITOR’S DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed in this guest column article are those of David Montoya and do not necessarily reflect those of the political blog www.petedinelli.com. The blog was not compensated for the guest column and neither was Mr. Montoya. The guest column is being published as a public service to the community and to the Bernalillo County Commission.
DAVID MONTOYA GUEST COLUMN AND CANDIDATE FOR HOUSE DISTRICT 19
“We all woke up a few weeks ago, shocked to see our State Representative’s house being raided by the state attorney general’s office. While we await her day in court, the resignation she handed in will help us all turn the page and move forward. At this critical moment it is my belief we must move quickly to fill the vacancy with experienced, honest, and boldly progressive leadership.
As an Air Force combat Veteran who proudly served my country for 7 years, and as an intelligence officer, the concepts of leadership and integrity guide my life. As a Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Obama Administration, and a senior staffer for U.S. Senator Jeff Bingaman, I am ready to bring the best of what I learned in Washington D.C. home, to benefit District 19.
As the son of civil rights leaders, I know the commitment it takes to represent communities of color and bring about impactful and meaningful change. I am a 13th generation New Mexican, born and raised in Santa Fe. House District 19 has been my home for four years and I want to give back and help my community.
To give back to my community, I serve on the executive committee of the New Mexico Democratic Veterans Caucus. Also, I have held leadership positions with the New Mexico Democratic Party as a precinct chair, a ward chair, and a county chair. Most recently I was elected to serve as the CD-1 Vice Chair of the state Democratic party.
Leadership is perhaps the most sacred responsibility one can be fortunate enough to experience. Good leadership is contagious. As the House Representative for District 19, I believe in and support the following:
Healthcare is a fundamental human right and I support and will advocate for Medicare for all.
Love is Love! I believe that the LBGTQ rights are civil rights that must be protected.
A woman has a right to choose what she does with her body and no one has any right to interfere with a woman’s right to choose.
No child should go to bed hungry and I support the funding of state programs that address child hunger, child wellbeing and child education.
We must address the mental health crisis in our veteran’s community where we lose 20 veterans a day to suicide.
White supremacists and racism must never be tolerated in any of our institutions in the country, including our legislative institutions, courts, government agencies and military and law enforcement community.
Law enforcement plays a critical role in building a better community and I support community policing, body cameras, police accountability and civilian oversight. I support and will vote for reasonable gun control legislation and believe that the founding fathers weren’t talking about assault rifles or high-capacity magazines when they wrote the 2nd Amendment and the right to bear arms.
I believe in unions. They protect workers and are fundamental to protecting the safety and welfare of those who are organized and unorganized.
I will support and vote for a living wage of $15.00 an hour. Large companies can afford it and government should help small business meet this goal.
I support comprehensive immigration reform and believe this is a county of immigrants who have built this country with hard work, innovation and who have brought new ideas to our nation.
Immigrants deserve a path to citizenship and that is why a support comprehensive immigration reform that leads to a path to full citizenship.
House District 19 has the most diverse collective of people in our state, and I am fully committed to help them to the best of my ability. In the days to come our team will share more on how we will restore experienced, honest, and boldly progressive leadership to the district. In this fight with me is my campaign team, my four children, three dogs, two cats, and my wonderful wife and best friend, Soleille Lopez-Montoya.
Join the fight with us at www.DavidForNM.com
Your support would be greatly appreciated!