House Whip Doreen Gallegos will serve as the acting House majority leader until fellow Democrats hold an election in the coming weeks to fill the legislative leadership position, the New Mexico House Democratic Caucus announced Saturday.

The move was prompted by the resignation of Sheryl Williams Stapleton on Friday amid a criminal investigation.

Whoever is elected House majority leader will serve as the chamber’s second-ranking Democrat after the House speaker.

“We are fortunate to have a number of highly-qualified and capable members who would serve as excellent additions to leadership,” House Speaker Brian Egolf said in a statement. “Given the serious responsibilities of this position, we want to ensure that potential candidates and caucus members have the time needed before a careful selection is made.”

Gallegos has served in the House since 2013 and has been the majority whip, the caucus’ third ranking member, since 2016. She lives in Las Cruces, where she directs a program for foster children.

“I am honored and ready to step into the role of Acting Majority Floor Leader and ensure that the Majority Office continues to serve all of our constituents seamlessly,” Gallegos said.

For years, Williams Stapleton was one of the Legislature’s most powerful members. Her resignation sent shock waves through the party.

The state Attorney General’s Office has launched a criminal probe into whether Williams Stapleton was involved in an elaborate scheme involving money laundering, illegal kickbacks and other alleged crimes. Earlier in the week, investigators searched her Albuquerque office and home.

“Given the very difficult circumstances in which we have found ourselves, I am proud of my Democratic colleagues in the House, and I am confident in the clear path we have laid out for the future of the House Majority Leader position,” said D. Wonda Johnson, a Church Rock Democrat who serves as chairwoman of the House Majority Caucus.

(9) comments

Lynn k Allen

Sold to the highest bidder.

Lynn k Allen

In an opinion piece, it mentions that she is married to a Professional Lobiest!

Why is that not mentioned here??

Why is that not important??

Is he the lobiest behind the fireworks sellers being able to sell during wild fire season??

Oh, no, not again.... actively inviting more money into our democracy.

Mike Johnson

Tweedle Dum replaced by Tweedle Dee...typical left wing.

John Cook

Well, Dr. Johnson, you clearly don't know Rep. Gallegos. She is honest, careful, talented and capable.

Joseph Tafoya

That's what the Democrats said about Sheryl Williams Stapleton.

Mike Johnson

[thumbup]Exactly, they wouldn't know a good politician with the kind of low standards they have in this state. Andrea Romero?

John Cook

Show your sources for Democrats having said those things about Rep. Stapleton. Or, much more likely, just keep Trumping along making stuff up.

Kirk Holmes

[scared]

Kirk Holmes

[thumbup]

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