Ben Ray Luján – NM

Ben Ray Luján

Summary

Current Position: US Senator since 2021
Affiliation: Democrat
Former Position: US Representative for NM-03 from 2009 – 2020
Other Positions:   Chair, Subcommittee on Communications, Media, and Broadband – Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation

Ben Ray Luján served as a member of the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission from 2005 to 2008, where he also served as chairman.

Luján was selected as chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) in 2014 and led the Democrats to win a House majority in the 2018 elections. He was the first Hispanic to serve in this role. In his role as assistant House Democratic leader, Luján was the highest-ranking Latino in Congress.

Quotes:
A strong educator workforce will help students prepare for the future. I’m proud to join @TimKaine
and my colleagues in urging Senate Leadership to invest $9 billion in the educator workforce to ensure that we have a well-prepared educator workforce.

Rep. Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico speaks at the Democratic National Convention

OnAir Post: Ben Ray Luján – NM

News

About

Source: Government page

Ben Ray Luján 1On January 3, 2021, Ben Ray Luján was sworn into office as a U.S. Senator representing New Mexico. He previously served as U.S. Representative for New Mexico’s Third Congressional District and House Assistant Speaker in the 116th Congress.

Senator Luján grew up in Nambé, a small farming community north of Santa Fe, bordered by the Nambé and Pojoaque Pueblos. It was there that he learned New Mexico values, including hard work, dedication, and perseverance, from his family and community.

Since being elected to Congress in 2008, Senator Luján has championed efforts to create good-paying jobs in New Mexico, expand quality health care and protect patients with pre-existing conditions, preserve our natural resources and sacred sites, build a clean energy economy, and uplift the middle-class.

Senator Luján has focused on spurring local economic growth through a number of legislative initiatives. His bill to make it easier for local entrepreneurs to bring their ideas to the marketplace was signed into law, and he has written legislation that would leverage New Mexico’s labs to drive job creation while addressing tomorrow’s energy challenges.

Recognizing that action on the climate crisis cannot wait another generation, Senator Luján has been a leading voice in the fight against climate change. He has developed bold, comprehensive legislation to put the United States on a path to net-zero carbon emissions to combat the climate crisis and grow the economy. This visionary plan has earned praise from climate experts, environmental advocates, and labor groups.

He has also been a fierce advocate for environmental protection in New Mexico. Luján helped lead an effort during the Obama administration to establish national monument designations for the Rio Grande del Norte National Conservation Area and the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks, preserving some of New Mexico’s greatest treasures and tourism drivers. In addition, he helped lead the effort to protect the greater Chaco Canyon region from harmful oil and gas drilling and dangerous methane emissions.

Luján is a long-time advocate for New Mexico’s acequias and traditional lands. He continually works to ensure funding for these cultural assets. He also supports rural farming and ranching by advancing legislation to help food-producing communities advance entrepreneurship.

Throughout his time in Congress, Luján has fought to increase New Mexicans’ access to quality health care, no matter where they live or how much money they make. He has had legislation signed into law to bolster the Children’s Health Insurance Program and strengthen Medicaid and Medicare. Senator Luján has also worked in a bipartisan manner to secure millions in funding to combat the opioid crisis in New Mexico and increase access to treatment and recovery services.

Senator Luján has been a champion for New Mexico working families. He’s fought to raise the minimum wage, close the gender pay gap, and bridge the digital divide for rural communities. He has been an unwavering supporter of women’s rights, LGBTQ+ rights, and continues to advance causes important to New Mexico families.

Before his election to Congress, Senator Luján served as the Chairman of the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission. As a Commissioner, he worked with his colleagues to develop a renewable portfolio standard to increase clean energy production by New Mexico utilities. He also advocated for first responders, working to overhaul the New Mexico Fire Fund so that all distributions from the fund would go to improving fire services in New Mexico.

Prior to his service on the Public Regulation Commission, Luján was the New Mexico Cultural Affairs Department’s director of administrative services and chief financial officer.

Senator Luján earned his Bachelor’s degree from New Mexico Highlands University in Business Administration.

Personal

Full Name: Ben Ray Lujan, Jr.

Gender: Male

Family: Single

Birth Date: 06/07/1972

Birth Place: Sante Fe, NM

Home City: Nambe, NM

Religion: Catholic

Source: Vote Smart

Education

BA, Business Administration, New Mexico Highlands University, 2007

Attended, University of New Mexico, 1990-1995

Political Experience

Senator, United States Senate, Jan 2021-present

Representative, United States House of Representatives, New Mexico, District 3, 2009-2021

Candidate, United States Senate, New Mexico, 2020

Assistant Speaker, United States House of Representatives, 2019

Candidate, United States House of Representatives, New Mexico, District 3, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2018

Chief Deputy Whip, United States House of Representatives, 2013-2015

Professional Experience

Former Director, Administrative Services, New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs

Former Chief Financial Officer, New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs

Former Deputy Treasurer, State of New Mexico

Offices

Las Cruces

201 North Church Street
Suite 201B
Las Cruces, NM 88001
Phone: 575-526-5475
 

Portales

100 South Ave A
Suite 113
Portales, NM 88130
Phone: 575-252-6188
Fax: 833-702-2620

Santa Fe

120 South Federal Place
Suite 302
Santa Fe, NM 87501
Fax: 833-702-2621

Washington, DC

498 Russell Senate Office Building 
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: 202-224-6621
Fax: 202-224-3370

Contact

Email: Government

Web Links

Politics

Source: none

Election Results

To learn more, go to this wikipedia section in this post.

Finances

Source: Open Secrets

Committees

New Legislation

CONGRESS.GOV  

Issues

Source: Government page

More Information

Services

Source: Government page

Wikipedia

Ben Ray Luján (/lˈhɑːn/ loo-HAHN;[2] born June 7, 1972) is an American politician who has served as the junior United States senator from New Mexico since 2021. He served as the U.S. representative for New Mexico’s 3rd congressional district from 2009 to 2021 and as Assistant Speaker[a] from 2019 to 2021. He served as a member of the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission from 2005 to 2008, where he also served as chairman.

Luján was selected as chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) in 2014 and led the Democrats to win a House majority in the 2018 elections. He was the first Hispanic to serve in this role.[3] In his role as assistant House Democratic leader, Luján was the highest-ranking Latino in Congress.

On April 1, 2019, Luján announced his intention to seek the United States Senate seat being vacated by two-term Democratic incumbent Tom Udall in the 2020 election.[4] He defeated Republican Mark Ronchetti in the general election on November 3, 2020[5][6] and took office on January 3, 2021.

Early life and education

Ben Ray Luján was born in Santa Fe, New Mexico, as the last child of Carmen (Ray) and Ben Luján; he has two older sisters and an older brother. He was raised in Nambe, New Mexico.[7] His father, Ben, went into politics in 1970, when he was elected to the County Commission; from 1975, he was a longtime member of the New Mexico House of Representatives, serving as majority whip and Speaker of the House.[8]

After graduating from Pojoaque Valley High School in 1990,[9] Ben Ray Luján worked as a blackjack dealer at a tribal casino.[10] After that, he attended the University of New Mexico and received a BBA degree from New Mexico Highlands University.[11]

Early career

Public Regulation Commission

Luján was elected to the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission in November 2004. He represented PRC district 3 which encompasses northeastern, north central and central New Mexico. His served as chairman of the PRC in 2005, 2006 and 2007. His term on the PRC ended at the end of 2008.[11] He helped to increase the Renewable Portfolio Standard in New Mexico that requires utilities to use 20 percent of their energy from renewable sources by 2020. Luján also required utilities to diversify their renewable use to include solar, wind and biomass.[11]

Luján joined regulators in California, Oregon, and Washington to sign the Joint Action Framework on Climate Change to implement regional solutions to global warming.[12]

U.S. House of Representatives

Elections

2008

In 2008, Luján ran to succeed U.S. Representative Tom Udall in New Mexico’s 3rd congressional district. Udall gave up the seat to make what would be a successful bid for the United States Senate.[citation needed] On June 3, 2008, Luján won the Democratic primary, defeating five other candidates.[13] His closest competitor, developer Don Wiviott, received 26 percent to Luján’s 42 percent.[citation needed]

Luján faced Republican Dan East and independent Carol Miller in the general election and won with 57% of the vote to East’s 30% and Miller’s 13%.[14]

2010

Luján won reelection against Republican nominee Thomas E. Mullins with 56.99% of the vote.

2012

Luján won reelection against Republican nominee Jefferson Byrd with 63.12% of the vote.

2014

Luján won reelection against Byrd again, with 61.52% of the vote.[15]

2016

Luján won reelection against Republican nominee Michael H. Romero with 62.42% of the vote.

2018

Luján won reelection against Republican nominee Jerald Steve McFall with 63.4% of the vote.

Tenure

Luján has been a proponent of health care reform, including a public option. In October 2009, he gave a speech on the House floor calling for a public option to be included in the House health care bill.[16]

In June 2009, Luján voted for an amendment that would require the United States Secretary of Defense to present a plan including a complete exit strategy for Afghanistan by the end of the year. The amendment did not pass.[17] In September 2009, Luján wrote a letter urging the Obama administration not to increase the number of troops in Afghanistan. In his letter, he drew on conversations he had with General Stanley A. McChrystal and Afghan President Hamid Karzai.[17]

In 2011, Luján was a co-sponsor of Bill H.R. 3261, the Stop Online Piracy Act.[18]

Energy policy

According to his campaign website, Luján has been active in environmental regulation.[19][better source needed] He chairs the Congressional Hispanic Caucus’ Green Economy and Renewable Energy Task Force.[19] Luján has initiated several pieces of legislation regarding renewable energy such as the SOLAR Act. He co-authored the Community College Energy Training Act of 2009. He also supports natural gas usage and the New Alternative Transportations to Give Americans Solutions Act of 2009.[19] Luján has high ratings from interest groups such as Environment America and the Sierra Club.[17]

Luján serves on the bipartisan Congressional PFAS Task Force. He has introduced legislation to provide relief to communities and businesses impacted by PFAS/PFOA contamination in groundwater around Air Force bases in New Mexico and across the country.[20]

In addition to supporting the Green New Deal, an economic stimulus package that aims to address climate change and economic inequality, Luján has developed legislation to put the United States on a path to net zero carbon emission and address climate change.[21]

Education policy

Luján has been supported by the National Education Association.[22] He supported the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act[19][better source needed] and student loan reform. He cosponsored the STEM Education Coordination Act in an effort to produce more scientists and innovators in the United States.[19]

Native American issues

Luján has supported increased funding for the Bureau of Indian Affairs and Indian Health Service.[19][better source needed] He opposed the Stop the War on Coal Act of 2012 and was in favor of preserving sacred Native American ground.[23] Luján worked to create legislation enabling tribes to directly request disaster assistance from the president.[24] Luján’s district contains 15 separate Pueblo tribes as well as tribal lands of the Jicarilla Apache Nation and Navajo Nation.[25] In February 2009, Luján introduced a series of five water accessibility bills that, along with improving access to water for the many communities in the district, would also give federal funds to Indian tribes. Along with Harry Teague (D-NM) and Ann Kirkpatrick (D-AZ), Luján sponsored an amendment to the House health care bill that would extend the current Indian Health Care system until 2025. Tribal governments were major donors to his 2012 reelection campaign.[26]

Committee assignments

Caucus memberships

U.S. Senate

Elections

2020

On April 1, 2019, Luján announced he was running to succeed retiring Senator Tom Udall in the 2020 election.[4] On June 2, 2020, Luján won the Democratic primary unopposed. He defeated Republican nominee Mark Ronchetti in the general election 51.7% to 45.6%.[29]

Tenure

117th Congress (2021–present)

Luján was sworn into the Senate on January 3, 2021. He was accompanied by the outgoing Senator, Tom Udall.[30]

On January 6, 2021, Luján was participating in the certification of the 2021 United States Electoral College vote count when Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol. He called the attack a “siege” and “a direct attack on our nation’s democracy.”[31] In the wake of the attack, Luján said he would vote to convict Trump “for inciting an insurrection.”[32]

Luján was absent from the Senate while recovering from a major stroke in early 2022.[33]

Energy

In February 2021, Luján was one of seven Democratic U.S. Senators to join Republicans in blocking a ban of hydraulic fracturing, commonly known as fracking.[34]

Foreign policy

In January 2024, Luján voted for a resolution, proposed by Bernie Sanders, to apply the human rights provisions of the Foreign Assistance Act to U.S. aid to Israel’s military. The proposal was defeated, 72 to 11.[35]

Committee assignments

Luján served on the following Senate committees in the 118th United States Congress:[36]

Personal life

Luján is a Catholic.[37]

On January 27, 2022, Luján was hospitalized in Santa Fe after feeling fatigued and dizzy. He was found to have had a stroke affecting his cerebellum and was transferred to the University of New Mexico Hospital for treatment, which included a decompressive craniectomy. A statement from his office said that “he is expected to make a full recovery”.[38] Luján returned to work at the Senate on March 3 and stated by April 21 that he was 90% recovered.[33][39]

Electoral history

2008 Democratic Primary Congressional Election, District 3[40]
PartyCandidateVotes%
DemocraticBen Ray Luján 26,667 41.58
DemocraticDon Wiviott16,31425.44
DemocraticBenny J. Shendo Jr.10,11315.77
DemocraticHarry Montoya7,20511.23
DemocraticJon Adams1,9933.11
DemocraticRudy Martin1,8382.87
2008 United States House of Representatives elections in New Mexico: District 3[41]
PartyCandidateVotes%
DemocraticBen Ray Luján 161,292 56.74
RepublicanDaniel K. East86,61830.47
IndependentCarol Miller36,34812.79
Total votes284,258 100.00
Democratic hold
2010 United States House of Representatives elections in New Mexico: District 3[42]
PartyCandidateVotes%
DemocraticBen Ray Luján (Incumbent) 120,057 56.99
RepublicanThomas E. Mullins90,62143.01
Total votes210,678 100.00
Democratic hold
2012 United States House of Representatives elections in New Mexico: District 3[43]
PartyCandidateVotes%
DemocraticBen Ray Luján (Incumbent) 167,103 63.12
RepublicanJefferson L. Byrd97,61636.88
Total votes264,719 100.00
Democratic hold

2016 United States House of Representatives elections in New Mexico: District 3[44]
PartyCandidateVotes%
DemocraticBen Ray Luján (Incumbent) 170,612 62.42
RepublicanMichael H. Romero102,73037.58
Total votes273,342 100.00
Democratic hold
2018 United States House of Representatives elections in New Mexico: District 3
PartyCandidateVotes%
DemocraticBen Ray Luján (Incumbent) 155,201 63.04
RepublicanJerald S. McFall76,42731.02
LibertarianChristopher Manning13,2655.4
Total votes244,893 100.00
Democratic hold
2020 United States Senate election in New Mexico[45]
PartyCandidateVotes%±%
DemocraticBen Ray Luján 474,483 51.73% -3.83%
RepublicanMark Ronchetti418,48345.62%+1.18%
LibertarianBob Walsh24,2712.65%N/A
Total votes917,237 100.0% N/A
Democratic hold

See also

Notes

References

  1. ^ “Our Campaigns – NM Public Regulation Commissioner 03 Race – Nov 02, 2004”. www.ourcampaigns.com.
  2. ^ As pronounced by himself in “Acequia“. Archived February 13, 2017, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Taylor, Jessica (January 6, 2019). “A Guide To Who’s Who In House Leadership For The 116th Congress”. NPR. Archived from the original on January 12, 2021. Retrieved May 30, 2019.
  4. ^ a b Arkin, James (April 2019). “Luján announces Senate run in New Mexico”. POLITICO. Archived from the original on January 15, 2021. Retrieved April 1, 2019.
  5. ^ Acevedo, Nicole (November 4, 2020). “Latinos gain a Senate seat with Ben Ray Lujan’s win in New Mexico”. NBC News. Retrieved November 4, 2020.
  6. ^ Homan, Timothy R. (November 4, 2020). “Democrat Ben Ray Luján wins open Senate seat in New Mexico”. TheHill. Retrieved November 4, 2020.
  7. ^ “Ben Ray Lujan”. Washington Post Live. August 31, 2012. Retrieved February 1, 2022.
  8. ^ A memorial recognizing Speaker of the House of Representatives Ben Lujan’s contribution to the State of New Mexico and wishing him well on his retirement from the New Mexico Legislature“. New Mexico Legislature (nmlegis.gov). 2012 Regular Session - HM 64. March 22, 2012. Final version. Retrieved December 18, 2016. Noting that he began his service in the house of representatives in 1975, the resolution further states: “Speaker Lujan was elected by his caucus to be majority whip in 1983 and majority floor leader in 1999, before being elected speaker of the house of representatives in 2001, placing him among just a handful of legislators across the country who have served in leadership positions continuously for thirty years” (p. 1).
  9. ^ Carroll, Dennis (June 4, 2011). “Pojoaque Valley graduation: Grandparents, congressman, notable alumni laud 55th graduating class”. Santa Fe New Mexican.
  10. ^ “Is this small-town congressman from New Mexico tough enough to win Democrats the House majority?”. Los Angeles Times. July 18, 2017.
  11. ^ a b c “Ben Ray Lujan (D-N.M.)”. Who Runs Gov. Published by The Washington Post. 2010. Archived from the original on November 5, 2011. Retrieved December 18, 2016.
  12. ^ Oregon Agrees to Climate Change Framework Adopted by Four Public Utility Commissions. State of Oregon Public Utility Commission Archived November 20, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ “2008 New Mexico Primary Results”. SOS.nm.gov. Retrieved July 7, 2023.
  14. ^ Baker, Deborah. Lujan wins Democratic nomination, East gets GOP nod, in 3rd District. Portales News-Tribune. June 4, 2008. Archived June 5, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ Garcia, Kristen (November 4, 2014). “Democrat Lujan defeats Byrd for U.S. House District 3”. KOB TV. Albuquerque, New Mexico. Archived from the original on November 5, 2014.
  16. ^ Lujan, Ben. “Luján: We Must Demand A Public Option” [press release]. October 23, 2009. Retrieved December 18, 2016, via Project Vote Smart; also available at lujan.house.gov/press-releases Archived December 20, 2016, at the Wayback Machine.
  17. ^ a b c Lujan, Ben. “Rep. Luján Urges Administration To Reject Troop Increase In Afghanistan” [press release]. September 25, 2009. Retrieved December 18, 2016 via Project Vote Smart; also available at lujan.house.gov/press-releases Archived December 20, 2016, at the Wayback Machine.
  18. ^ Bill H.R.3261 Archived March 16, 2012, at the Wayback Machine; GovTrack.us;
  19. ^ a b c d e f “Issues”. Ben Ray Lujan for Congress. Archived from the original on June 27, 2014. Retrieved April 23, 2015.
  20. ^ “Udall, Heinrich, Luján Introduce Legislation to Provide Relief to New Mexico Communities Affected by PFAS | U.S. Congressman Ben Ray Luján”. lujan.house.gov. Archived from the original on May 30, 2019. Retrieved May 30, 2019.
  21. ^ Writer, Scott Turner | Journal Staff. “Luján’s plan requires net-zero carbon emissions by 2050”. www.abqjournal.com. Retrieved May 30, 2019.
  22. ^ “Ben Lujan, Jr.’s Ratings and Endorsements – The Voter’s Self Defense System”. Vote Smart. Archived from the original on January 23, 2016. Retrieved February 23, 2016.
  23. ^ “Stop the War on Coal Act of 2012 – Public Statements – The Voter’s Self Defense System”. Vote Smart. September 21, 2012. Retrieved February 23, 2016.
  24. ^ “Luján: Legislation Enabling Tribes to Request Disaster Assistance Directly from the President Passes House – Public Statements – The Voter’s Self Defense System”. Vote Smart. September 21, 2012. Retrieved February 23, 2016.
  25. ^ About the District. Website of Congressman Ben Jay Luján Archived May 5, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  26. ^ National Institute on Money in State Politics. “Lujan, Ben R.” followthemoney.org. Archived from the original on January 30, 2015. Retrieved January 29, 2015.
  27. ^ “Membership”. Congressional Arts Caucus. Archived from the original on June 12, 2018. Retrieved March 23, 2018.
  28. ^ “Members”. Congressional Hispanic Caucus. Archived from the original on May 15, 2018. Retrieved May 15, 2018.
  29. ^ “New Mexico U.S. Senate Election Results”. The New York Times. January 5, 2021. Retrieved January 15, 2021.
  30. ^ “Ben Ray Luján sworn in as New Mexico Senator”. KRQE News 13 Albuquerque – Santa Fe. January 4, 2021. Retrieved January 15, 2021.
  31. ^ “Luján Condemns Wednesday’s Violence At U.S. Capitol”. Los Alamos Reporter. January 7, 2021. Retrieved January 15, 2021.
  32. ^ “New Mexico officials react after House votes to impeach Trump”. KRQE News 13 Albuquerque – Santa Fe. January 14, 2021. Archived from the original on January 15, 2021. Retrieved January 15, 2021.
  33. ^ a b DeBonis, Mike (March 3, 2022). “Sen. Ben Ray Luján returns to Senate, just one month after major stroke”. The Washington Post. Retrieved December 9, 2022.
  34. ^ “Roll Call Vote 117th Congress – 1st Session”. senate.gov. Retrieved February 21, 2021.
  35. ^ Bolton, Alexander (January 16, 2024). “Democratic rebels send Biden stern message on Gaza”. The Hill. Retrieved January 17, 2024.
  36. ^ “U.S. Senate: Committee Assignments of the 118th Congress”. www.senate.gov. Retrieved February 1, 2023.
  37. ^ Fontelo, Paul V. (January 9, 2021). “Catholics rise to prominence in newest Congress”. Arkansas Online. Archived from the original on January 15, 2021. Retrieved January 15, 2021.
  38. ^ Finn, Teaganne; Kapur, Sahil (February 1, 2022). “Democratic Sen. Ben Ray Lujan hospitalized after stroke”. NBCNews.com. Retrieved February 1, 2022.
  39. ^ “Sen. Ben Ray Luján says he’s ‘90% recovered’ from his stroke”. NBCNews.com. April 22, 2022. Retrieved December 9, 2022.
  40. ^ “2008 Primary Results” (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on October 22, 2016. Retrieved May 11, 2011.
  41. ^ “2008 Election Results” (PDF).
  42. ^ “2010 Election Results” (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on September 27, 2011. Retrieved May 11, 2011.
  43. ^ “Statewide Results”. New Mexico Secretary of State. Archived from the original on December 27, 2017.
  44. ^ “Election Night Results – November 8, 2016”. New Mexico Secretary of State. November 8, 2016. Retrieved December 7, 2016.
  45. ^ “Official Results – 2020 General November 3, 2020”. New Mexico Secretary of State. Archived from the original on February 10, 2021. Retrieved November 24, 2020.

External links

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by

Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New Mexico’s 3rd congressional district

2009–2021
Succeeded by

Party political offices
Preceded by

Chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee
2015–2019
Succeeded by

Preceded by

as House Assistant Democratic Leader

Assistant Speaker of the House of Representatives
2019–2021
Succeeded by

Preceded by

Democratic nominee for U.S. Senator from New Mexico
(Class 2)

2020
Most recent
U.S. Senate
Preceded by

U.S. Senator (Class 2) from New Mexico
2021–present
Served alongside: Martin Heinrich
Incumbent
U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by

as United States Senator from Wyoming

Order of precedence of the United States
as United States Senator from New Mexico

since January 3, 2021
Succeeded by

as United States Senator from Georgia

Preceded by

United States senators by seniority
83rd
Succeeded by


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