An Apology In Santa Fe

New Mexico – A black Democratic state representative is under fire after she called New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez a "Mexican" during a heated exchange with a Republican state lawmaker.

Rep. Sheryl Williams Stapleton made the comment Wednesday during a State Capitol committee meeting break where she accused Rep. Nora Espinoza of "carrying the Mexican's water on the fourth floor."

Espinoza previously had criticized Stapleton for collecting an Albuquerque school district salary while also serving in the Legislature. But Stapleton said that argument was set up by the governor's office since she opposed the governor's education reform bills.

Stapleton later apologized for her remarks.

Martinez's office called Stapleton's comments "sad and disappointing."

The El Paso, Texas.-born Martinez, whose grandparents are from Mexico, is the first Latina elected governor in the nation's history.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.