Ben Ray Luján Biography
Ben Ray Luján is an American politician serving as the U.S. Representative for New Mexico’s 3rd congressional district since 2009 and as the Assistant House Speaker since 2019. Luján who is a member of the Democratic Party, previously had served as a member of the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission from 2005 to 2008.
Luján was elected in 2014 to be Chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and led the Democrats to win a majority in the House in the 2018 elections. His district is based in Santa Fe, the state capital and includes most of the northern portion of the state.
Ben Ray Luján Age
Ben Ray Luján was born June 7, 1972 in Santa Fe, New Mexico, U.S. He is 46 years old as of 2018.
Ben Ray Luján Net Worth
as of 2015 Luján has an estimated net worth of $280,502.
Ben Ray Luján Family
Ben Ray Luján was born as the last child of Carmen and Ben Luján and has two older sisters and an older brother. His father, Ben Luján, joined politics in 1970 when he was elected to the County Commission. He was as a longtime member of the New Mexico House of Representatives from 1975, serving as Majority Whip and Speaker of the House.
Ben Ray Luján Phot
Luján’s mother is a retired administrator with the Pojoaque Valley School System. Luján’s cousins include former Republican U.S. Representative and U.S. Secretary of the Interior Manuel Lujan Jr. and former Democratic U.S. Representative and New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham. Manuel Lujan Jr.’s sister was his second grade teacher.
Ben Ray Luján Senate
Luján announced on April 1, 2019, his intention to seek the United States Senate seat being vacated by two-term Democratic incumbent Tom Udall in 2020.
Ben Ray Luján Education
Luján graduated from Pojoaque Valley High School and worked as a blackjack dealer at both a Lake Tahoe and Northern New Mexico tribal casino. After his stint being a dealer, he went to the University of New Mexico and later received a BBA degree from New Mexico Highlands University.
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 before his election to the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission.
Ben Ray Luján Public Regulation Commission
In November 2004, Luján was elected to the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission (PRC). He represented PRC district 3 which encompasses north central, northeastern and central New Mexico. Luján’s served as chairman of the PRC in 2005, 2006 and 2007. His term on the PRC ended at the end of 2008.
Luján 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. He also required utilities to diversify their renewable use to include solar, wind and biomass.
He joined regulators in California, Oregon and Washington to sign the Joint Action Framework on Climate Change to implement regional solutions to global warming.
Ben Ray Luján Elections
Luján ran to succeed U.S. Representative Tom Udall in 2008, 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. Luján won the Democratic primary on June 3, 2008, defeating five other candidates. His closest competitor Don Wiviott, developer received 26 percent to Luján’s 42 percent.
During the general election, Luján faced Republican Dan East and independent Carol Miller where Luján won with 57% of the vote compared to East’s 30% and Miller’s 13%.
Luján won reelection against Republican nominee Thomas E. Mullins with 56.99% of the vote.
Luján won reelection against Republican nominee Jefferson L. Byrd with 63.12% of the vote.
Luján won reelection against Republican nominee Jefferson L. Byrd with 61.52% of the vote.
Luján won reelection against Republican nominee Michael H. Romero with 62.42% of the vote.
Ben Ray Luján Tenure
Luján has been a proponent of health care reform, including a public option. He gave a speech in October 2009, on the House floor calling for a public option to be included in the House health care bill. Luján voted in June 2009, for an amendment that would require the U.S. 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. Luján wrote a letter in September 2009, urging the Obama Administration not to increase the number of troops in Afghanistan. In his letter, Luján drew on conversations he had with General Stanley McChrystal and Afghan President Hamid Karzai.
Ben Ray Luján Energy policy
He has been active in environmental regulation. Luján chairs the Congressional Hispanic Caucus’ Green Economy and Renewable Energy Task Force. He has initiated several pieces of legislation regarding renewable energy like the SOLAR Act.
Luján 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. Luján has high ratings from interest groups like Environment America and the Sierra Club.
Ben Ray Luján Education policy
Luján has been supported by the National Education Association. Luján supported the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. He supports student loan reform. Luján cosponsored the STEM Education Coordination Act in an effort to produce more scientists and innovators in the United States.
Ben Ray Luján Native American issues
Luján has supported increased funding for the Bureau of Indian Affairs and Indian Health Service. Luján opposed the Stop the War on Coal Act of 2012 and was in favor of preserving sacred Native American ground. He worked to create legislation enabling tribes to directly request disaster assistance from the president. His district contains 15 separate Pueblo tribes as well as tribal lands of the Jicarilla Apache Nation and Navajo Nation.
Luján introduced a series of five water accessibility bills in February 2009, 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), he 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 re-election campaign.
Ben Ray Luján Committee Assignments
- Committee on Energy and Commerce
- Subcommittee on Communications and Technology
- Subcommittee on Health
- Subcommittee on Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection
- Select Committee on the Climate Crisis
Ben Ray Luján Caucus Memberships
- Congressional Arts Caucus
- Congressional Hispanic Caucus
Ben Ray Luján Legislative history
- Luján was a co-sponsor of Bill H.R. 3261, the Stop Online Piracy Act in 2011.