Kay Bounkeua appointed to fill seat vacated by Rep. Sheryl Williams Stapleton

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- The Bernalillo County Commission has appointed Kay Bounkeua to fill the District 19 House of Representatives seat previously held by Rep. Sheryl Williams Stapleton.

Bounkeua is the first Asian American woman to serve at the New Mexico Roundhouse. She recently served as the executive director of the New Mexico Asian Family Center.

Currently, she serves as the New Mexico deputy state director for the Wilderness Society.

This is the second time Bernalillo County commissioners have replaced a representative this year. They said the community engagement has been overwhelming.

"I really want to thank our engaged citizens, all of you who have asked applicants to step up and serve, encouraged them to throw their hats in and then supported them," said Bernalillo County Commission Chair Charlene Pyskoty with District 5.

Bounkeua was one of ten individuals who submitted an application to commissioners for the position representing the southeast portion of Albuquerque.

Former Rep. Sheryl Williams Stapleton resigned last month amid a corruption investigation. No charges have been filed against Stapleton yet, according the NM Attorney General’s office.

Bounkeua released the following statement:

“Today I am honored to be given the opportunity to represent the diverse communities of House District 19–a place that I have always called home. As a first generation immigrant, having worked with families and communities in this area for the past ten years and counting, and now building a home with my husband and my two year-old daughter in HD19, I understand firsthand the needs of this place and the systemic barriers that need to be dismantled to ensure we build strong, healthy communities. This firsthand experience will always guide me in my public service at the NM Legislature.

At this time I want to thank every single person who came forward to support my campaign. I want to thank everyone who made calls, sent emails, and who wholeheartedly stepped up to the challenge of prioritizing representation in government–to achieve leadership grounded in shared values and shared lived experiences.

I am deeply honored to serve as the first Asian American woman at the NM Roundhouse–– not only to break through the glass ceiling, but the bamboo ceiling attached to it. This is the moment our communities have been waiting for. We made history and we are showing New Mexico’s children that we can and should lead not despite of, but because of, our unique cultural heritages and backgrounds and that we can bring change together.”