About Mary Kay
Senator Mary Kay Papen was first elected to the New Mexico State Senate in 2000. As a state senator, Mary Kay has championed many important pieces of legislation including Mental Health Insurance Benefits, Katie’s Law, Affordable Housing Reform, and many other pieces of legislation dealing with water, economic development and education.
Mary Kay has a long standing record of public service. Growing up, Senator Papen’s parents instilled in her the need to give back to her community. She has demonstrated her commitment to public service by volunteering as a board member for the La Casa Domestic Violence Shelter, St. Luke’s Health Clinic, the First Step Clinic for Prenatal and Pediatric Care and the Border Book Festival.
Senator Papen has also been honored with several awards including The APA Practice Organization - Legislator of the Year, The New Mexico Senate Milagro Award, America’s Outstanding Women in 1967, the Las Cruces Hispano Chamber of Commerce “Citizen of the Year” in 1995, the New Mexico Community Foundation Luminaria Award in 1997, the Governor’s Award for Outstanding New Mexico Women in 2000, the New Mexico Alliance for the Mentally Ill “Outstanding Legislator” in 2003, and the 2010 NAMI - Domenici Family Award.
Prior to being elected to the New Mexico State Legislature, Mary Kay was a volunteer citizen lobbyist for domestic violence and mental health issues. Senator Papen has dedicated her time and energy to help her community and the state of New Mexico for over fifty years. Mary Kay continues to lead by example and work hard for all of her constituents and the citizens of the state of New Mexico.
Mary Kay is a mother, a grandmother, and a great grandmother. When not driving across the state to tend to the business of the district or meeting with constituents in town, Mary Kay enjoys spending time with her family and friends.