|Chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee|
Assumed office |
January 3, 2015
|Preceded by||Steve Israel|
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from New Mexico's 3rd district
Assumed office |
January 3, 2009
|Preceded by||Tom Udall|
|Member of the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission|
from the 3rd district
June 7, 1972|
Santa Fe, New Mexico, U.S.
|Relatives||Ben Luján (Father)|
University of New Mexico|
New Mexico Highlands University (BBA)
Ben Ray Luján (//; born June 7, 1972) is an American politician serving as the U.S. Representative for New Mexico's 3rd congressional district since 2009. The district is based in Santa Fe, the state capital, and includes most of the northern portion of the state. A member of the Democratic Party, Luján previously served as a member of the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission from 2005 to 2008. He was elected to be Chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee on November 18, 2014, taking office on January 3, 2015.
Ben Ray Luján was born in Santa Fe, New Mexico, as the last child of Carmen 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. His mother is a retired administrator with the Pojoaque Valley School System. His cousins include former Republican U.S. Representative and U.S. Secretary of the Interior Manuel Lujan, Jr. and Democratic U.S. Representative and 2018 New Mexico gubernatorial candidate Michelle Lujan Grisham. Manuel Lujan, Jr.'s sister was his second grade teacher.
After graduating from Pojoaque Valley High School, he worked as a blackjack dealer at both a Lake Tahoe and Northern New Mexico tribal casino. After his stint being a dealer, he attended the University of New Mexico and later received a 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 prior to his election to the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission.
Luján was elected to the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission (PRC) 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. 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.
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 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.
Luján has been a proponent of health care reform, including a public option. In October 2009, Luján gave a speech on the House floor calling for a public option to be included in the House health care bill.
In June 2009, Luján voted 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. 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 McChrystal and Afghan President Hamid Karzai.
Luján has been active in environmental regulation. He chairs the Congressional Hispanic Caucus’ Green Economy and Renewable Energy Task Force. 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. Luján has high ratings from interest groups such as Environment America and the Sierra Club.
Luján has been supported by the National Education Association. Luján supported the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. He supports student loan reform. He cosponsored the STEM Education Coordination Act in an effort to produce more scientists and innovators in the United States.
Luján has supported increased funding for the Bureau of Indian Affairs and Indian Health Service. He opposed the Stop the War on Coal Act of 2012 and was in favor of preserving sacred Native American ground. Luján worked to create legislation enabling tribes to directly request disaster assistance from the president. Luján's district contains 15 separate Pueblo tribes as well as tribal lands of the Jicarilla Apache Nation and Navajo Nation. 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 re-election campaign.
|U.S. House of Representatives|
| Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New Mexico's 3rd congressional district
|Party political offices|
| Chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee
|Current U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)|
| United States Representatives by seniority
|111th||Senate: J. Bingaman | T. Udall||House: M. Heinrich | H. Teague | B. R. Luján|
|112th||Senate: J. Bingaman | T. Udall||House: M. Heinrich | B. R. Luján | S. Pearce|
|113th||Senate: T. Udall | M. Heinrich||House: B. R. Luján | S. Pearce | M. L. Grisham|
|114th||Senate: T. Udall | M. Heinrich||House: B. R. Luján | S. Pearce | M. L. Grisham|
|115th||Senate: T. Udall | M. Heinrich||House: B. R. Luján | S. Pearce | M. L. Grisham|
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