Ben Ray Luján

Last updated

Ben Ray Luján
Ben Ray Lujan, 117th Congress portrait.jpg
United States Senator
from New Mexico
Assumed office
January 3, 2021
Servingwith Martin Heinrich
Preceded by Tom Udall
Assistant Speaker of the United States House of Representatives
In office
January 3, 2019 January 3, 2021
Leader Nancy Pelosi
Preceded by Jim Clyburn (Assistant Democratic Leader)
Succeeded by Katherine Clark
Chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee
In office
January 3, 2015 January 3, 2019
Leader Nancy Pelosi
Preceded by Steve Israel
Succeeded by Cheri Bustos
Member of the U.S.HouseofRepresentatives
from New Mexico's 3rd district
In office
January 3, 2009 January 3, 2021
Preceded by Tom Udall
Succeeded by Teresa Leger Fernandez
Member of the
New Mexico Public Regulation Commission
from the 3rd district
In office
January 3, 2005 January 3, 2009
Preceded byJerome Block [1]
Succeeded byJerome Block Jr.
Personal details
Born (1972-06-07) June 7, 1972 (age 48)
Santa Fe, New Mexico, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Relatives Ben Luján (father)
Education New Mexico Highlands University (BBA)
Website Senate website

Ben Ray Luján ( /lˈhɑːn/ loo-HAHN; [2] born June 7, 1972) is an American politician serving as the junior United States senator from New Mexico. He served as the U.S. representative for New Mexico's 3rd congressional district from 2009 to 2021 and the assistant House Democratic leader (what the party leadership calls "Assistant Speaker") 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.

Contents

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 nominee Mark Ronchetti on November 3, 2020, [5] [6] and took office on January 3, 2021.

Early life, education, and early career

Ben Ray Luján was born in Nambé, New Mexico, as the last child of Carmen (Ray) and Ben Luján, and has two older sisters and an older brother. His father, Ben Luján, went into politics in 1970 when he was elected to the County Commission. From 1975, he was as a longtime member of the New Mexico House of Representatives, serving as Majority Whip and Speaker of the House. [7] His mother is a retired administrator with the Pojoaque Valley School System.

After graduating from Pojoaque Valley High School, he worked as a blackjack dealer at a Lake Tahoe casino and a Northern New Mexico tribal casino. [8] After his stint as a dealer, he attended the University of New Mexico and later received a BBA degree from New Mexico Highlands University. [9] Luján has held several public service positions. He was the Deputy State Treasurer and the Director of Administrative Services and Chief Financial Officer for the New Mexico Cultural Affairs Department prior to his election to the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission.

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. [9] 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. [9]

Luján joined regulators in California, Oregon, and Washington to sign the Joint Action Framework on Climate Change to implement regional solutions to global warming. [10]

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. On June 3, 2008, Luján won the Democratic primary, defeating five other candidates. His closest competitor, developer Don Wiviott, received 26 percent to Luján's 42 percent.

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%. [11]

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. [12]

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. [13]

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. [14] 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. [14]

In 2011, Luján was a co-sponsor of Bill H.R. 3261, the Stop Online Piracy Act. [15]

Energy policy

According to his campaign website, Luján has been active in environmental regulation. [16] [ better source needed ] He chairs the Congressional Hispanic Caucus’ Green Economy and Renewable Energy Task Force. [16] 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. [16] Luján has high ratings from interest groups such as Environment America and the Sierra Club. [14]

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. [17]

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. [18]

Education policy

Luján has been supported by the National Education Association. [19] He supported the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act [16] and student loan reform. He cosponsored the STEM Education Coordination Act in an effort to produce more scientists and innovators in the United States. [16]

Luján has pressed the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to bridge the digital divide to expand opportunities for rural communities. In 2018, he joined FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel on a bus ride where students learned to code during their drive time.

Native American issues

Luján has supported increased funding for the Bureau of Indian Affairs and Indian Health Service. [16] He opposed the Stop the War on Coal Act of 2012 and was in favor of preserving sacred Native American ground. [20] Luján worked to create legislation enabling tribes to directly request disaster assistance from the president. [21] Luján's district contains 15 separate Pueblo tribes as well as tribal lands of the Jicarilla Apache Nation and Navajo Nation. [22] 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. [23]

Luján has worked with the New Mexico Congressional Delegation to protect the greater Chaco Canyon region from oil and gas drilling and methane emissions. He participated in a Congressional Delegation visit to Chaco Canyon and Santa Fe, New Mexico, in May 2019, to study the effects of methane emissions on sacred sites.

In infrastructure negotiations with President Trump at the White House, Luján stressed the importance of investing in rural broadband connectivity as a means of addressing cases of missing and murdered indigenous women.[ citation needed ]

Committee assignments

Caucus memberships

United States Senate

Elections

2020 General election

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%. [26]

Tenure

Committees

Caucuses

See also

Related Research Articles

Diana DeGette Colorado politician

Diana Louise DeGette is an American politician serving as the U.S. Representative for Colorado's 1st congressional district since 1997. A member of the Democratic Party, her district is based in Denver. DeGette was a Chief Deputy Whip from 2005 to 2019 and is currently the dean of Colorado's congressional delegation; she previously served as the Colorado State Representative for the 6th district from 1993 until her election to the U.S. House of Representatives.

Mark Udall

Mark Emery Udall is an American politician who served as a United States Senator from Colorado from 2009 to 2015. A member of the Democratic Party, he previously served in the United States House of Representatives, representing Colorado's 2nd congressional district. Prior to being elected to Congress, he represented parts of Boulder, Colorado in the Colorado House of Representatives.

Rick Larsen U.S. Representative from Washington

Richard Ray Larsen is the United States Representative for Washington's 2nd congressional district and a member of the Democratic Party. He was first elected to the House of Representatives in 2000 and was re-elected in each of the ten subsequent elections, most recently in 2020.

Tom Latham (politician)

Thomas Paul Latham is a retired American politician who served as a U.S. Representative from Iowa from 1995 to 2015. He is a member of the Republican Party. On December 17, 2013, Latham announced he would not seek reelection next term, becoming the third member of the U.S. House to announce his retirement on the same day.

Steve Pearce (politician)

Stevan Edward Pearce is an American businessman and politician who served as the U.S. Representative for New Mexico's 2nd congressional district from 2003 to 2009 and from 2011 to 2019. He is a member of the Republican Party and was his party's unsuccessful nominee in the 2018 New Mexico gubernatorial election. On December 8, 2018, Pearce was elected Chair of the New Mexico Republican Party, replacing Ryan Cangiolosi.

Tom Udall Former United States Senator from New Mexico

Thomas Stewart Udall is an American politician who served as a United States Senator for New Mexico from 2009 to 2021. A member of the Democratic Party, he served as the U.S. Representative for New Mexico's 3rd congressional district from 1999 to 2009 and was the Attorney General of New Mexico from 1991 to 1999. A member of the Udall family, he is the son of Stewart Udall, the nephew of Mo Udall, and the cousin of Mark Udall. He is the dean of New Mexico's congressional delegation. Udall was first elected to in the 2008 Senate race. On March 25, 2019, Udall announced that he would not seek a third term in the 2020 election, making him the only Democratic senator to announce his retirement in that election cycle.

Jim Gerlach

James W. Gerlach is the former U.S. Representative for Pennsylvania's 6th congressional district, serving from 2003 to 2015. He is a member of the Republican Party. Gerlach retired from Congress after completing his sixth term.

Jim Costa U.S. Representative for Californias 16th congressional district

James Manuel Costa, is the U.S. Representative for California's 16th congressional district. Serving as a Democrat in Congress since 2013, he previously represented California's 20th congressional district from 2005 to 2013. The district includes most of Fresno. He previously served in the California State Assembly from 1978 until 1994, and in the State Senate from 1994 until 2002. At the time of his election to the California State Legislature, he was the youngest member of the legislature at the age of 26. During his time in the California State Assembly, he served as the Majority Caucus Chair. Costa was chair of the Blue Dog Coalition and ranking member of the United States House Agriculture Subcommittee on Rural Development, Research, Biotechnology, and Foreign Agriculture.

Ed Perlmutter

Edwin George Perlmutter is an American politician serving as the U.S. Representative for Colorado's 7th congressional district since 2007. A member of the Democratic Party, his district is located in the northern and western suburbs of the Denver metropolitan area. He previously served as the Colorado State Senator from the 20th district from 1995 to 2003.

Peter Welch U.S. Representative from Vermont

Peter Francis Welch is an American attorney and politician who has served as the U.S. Representative for Vermont's at-large congressional district since 2007. He is a member of the Democratic Party and has been a major figure in Vermont politics for over three decades.

New Mexicos congressional districts

New Mexico is divided into 3 congressional districts, each represented by a member of the United States House of Representatives.

Martin Heinrich

Martin Trevor Heinrich is an American politician and businessman serving as the senior United States Senator from New Mexico since 2013. A native of Fallon, Nevada, Heinrich has lived much of his adulthood in New Mexico, specifically Albuquerque. As a member of the Democratic Party, he was the U.S. Representative for New Mexico's 1st congressional district from 2009 to 2013. He then won the Senate seat vacated by retiring Senator Jeff Bingaman in 2012. Heinrich was mentioned as a possible nominee for Vice President of the United States in 2016 under Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. Senator Tim Kaine from Virginia was later selected instead. Heinrich became the senior Senator and dean of New Mexico's congressional delegation following Tom Udall's retirement from the Senate in 2021.

Kurt Schrader

Walter Kurt Schrader is an American politician serving as the U.S. Representative for Oregon's 5th congressional district since 2009. A member of the Democratic Party, his district covers Salem and Newport. Schrader previously served in both houses of the Oregon Legislative Assembly from 1997 to 2008.

2008 United States House of Representatives elections in New Mexico

The 2008 congressional elections in New Mexico were held on November 4, 2008 to determine New Mexico's representation in the United States House of Representatives. The party primary elections were held June 3, 2008. Martin Heinrich, Harry Teague, and Ben R. Luján, all Democrats, were elected to represent New Mexico in the House. Representatives are elected for two-year terms; the winners of the election currently serve in the 111th Congress, which began on January 4, 2009 and is scheduled to end on January 3, 2011. The election coincided with the 2008 U.S. presidential election and senatorial elections.

2010 United States House of Representatives elections in New Mexico

The 2010 congressional elections in New Mexico were held on November 2, 2010 and determined New Mexico's representation in the United States House of Representatives. Representatives are elected for two-year terms; the winners of the election served in the 111th Congress, which began on January 4, 2009 ended on January 3, 2011.

Michelle Lujan Grisham 32nd Governor of New Mexico

Michelle Lynn Lujan Grisham is an American lawyer and politician serving as the 32nd governor of New Mexico since 2019. A member of the Democratic Party, Lujan Grisham previously served as the U.S. Representative for New Mexico's 1st congressional district from 2013 to 2019. On November 6, 2018, she became the first Democratic woman elected governor of New Mexico, as well as the first Democratic Hispanic woman elected state governor in U.S. history.

2020 United States Senate election in New Mexico

The 2020 United States Senate election in New Mexico was held on November 3, 2020, to elect a member of the United States Senate to represent the State of New Mexico, concurrently with the 2020 U.S. presidential election, as well as other elections to the United States Senate in other states, elections to the United States House of Representatives, and various state and local elections.

2018 United States House of Representatives elections in New Mexico

The 2018 United States House of Representatives elections in New Mexico were held on November 6, 2018, to elect the three U.S. Representatives from the state of New Mexico, one from each of the state's three congressional districts. The elections coincided with the gubernatorial election, as well as other elections to the House of Representatives, elections to the United States Senate and various state and local elections.

Xochitl Torres Small Former U.S. Representative from New Mexico

Xochitl Liana Torres Small is an American lawyer and politician who served as the U.S. Representative for New Mexico's 2nd congressional district from 2019 to 2021. The district is the largest by area in the nation that does not contain an entire state, covering New Mexico's southern half, including Roswell, Carlsbad, Las Cruces, and southern Albuquerque. She is a member of the Democratic Party. She was defeated in her 2020 reelection bid by Republican Yvette Herrell in a rematch of the 2018 congressional race.

2020 United States House of Representatives elections in New Mexico

The 2020 United States House of Representatives elections in New Mexico was held on November 3, 2020, to elect the three U.S. Representatives from the state of New Mexico, one from each of the state's three congressional districts. The elections coincided with the 2020 U.S. presidential election, as well as other elections to the House of Representatives, elections to the United States Senate and various state and local elections.

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. "A Guide To Who's Who In House Leadership For The 116th Congress". NPR.org. Retrieved May 30, 2019.
  4. 1 2 Arkin, James. "Luján announces Senate run in New Mexico". POLITICO.
  5. "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. "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).
  8. , Abq Journal
  9. 1 2 3 "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.
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. 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.
  13. 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 .
  14. 1 2 3 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 .
  15. Bill H.R.3261; GovTrack.us;
  16. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "Issues". Ben Ray Lujan for Congress. Archived from the original on June 27, 2014. Retrieved April 23, 2015.
  17. "Udall, Heinrich, Luján Introduce Legislation to Provide Relief to New Mexico Communities Affected by PFAS | U.S. Congressman Ben Ray Luján". lujan.house.gov. Retrieved May 30, 2019.
  18. Writer, Scott Turner | Journal Staff. "Luján's plan requires net-zero carbon emissions by 2050". www.abqjournal.com. Retrieved May 30, 2019.
  19. "Ben Lujan, Jr.'s Ratings and Endorsements - The Voter's Self Defense System". Vote Smart. Retrieved February 23, 2016.
  20. "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.
  21. "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.
  22. About the District. Website of Congressman Ben Jay Luján Archived May 5, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  23. National Institute on Money in State Politics. "Lujan, Ben R." followthemoney.org. Retrieved January 29, 2015.
  24. "Membership". Congressional Arts Caucus. Archived from the original on June 12, 2018. Retrieved March 23, 2018.
  25. "Members". Congressional Hispanic Caucus. Archived from the original on May 15, 2018. Retrieved May 15, 2018.
  26. https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/11/03/us/elections/results-new-mexico-senate.html
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Tom Udall
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New Mexico's 3rd congressional district

2009–2021
Succeeded by
Teresa Leger Fernandez
Party political offices
Preceded by
Steve Israel
Chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee
2015–2019
Succeeded by
Cheri Bustos
Preceded by
Jim Clyburn
as House Assistant Democratic Leader
Assistant Speaker of the House of Representatives
2019–2021
Succeeded by
Katherine Clark
Preceded by
Tom Udall
Democratic nominee for U.S. Senator from New Mexico
(Class 2)

2020
Most recent
U.S. Senate
Preceded by
Tom Udall
U.S. Senator (Class 2) from New Mexico
2021–present
Served alongside: Martin Heinrich
Incumbent
U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Mark Kelly
United States Senators by seniority
94th
Succeeded by
Cynthia Lummis