Ben Ray Luján

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Ben Ray Luján
Ben Lujan official photo.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New Mexico's 3rd district
Incumbent
Assumed office
January 3, 2009
Preceded by Tom Udall
Member of the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission
from the 3rd district
In office
2005–2008
Preceded by Jerome Block (I)
Succeeded by Jerome Block (II)
Personal details
Born Ben Ray Luján
(1972-06-07) June 7, 1972 (age 43)
Santa Fe, New Mexico, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Alma mater University of New Mexico, Albuquerque
New Mexico Highlands University
Religion Roman Catholicism[citation needed]
Website Campaign website

Ben Ray Luján (born June 7, 1972) is the U.S. Representative for New Mexico's 3rd congressional district, serving since 2009. He is a member of the Democratic Party. The district is based in Santa Fe, the state capital, and includes most of the northern portion of the state. Luján became the Chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee on November 18, 2014.

Early life, education, and early career[edit]

Ben Ray Luján was born in Santa Fe to Carmen and Ben Luján, but currently lives near Nambé, New Mexico. His father, Ben Luján, was the speaker of the New Mexico House of Representatives[1][dead link] and his mother is a retired administrator with the Pojoaque Valley school system. His cousins include Michelle Lujan Grisham and Manuel Lujan, Jr., a former Republican congressman and Secretary of the Interior. Manuel Lujan's sister was his second grade teacher.[2]

After graduating from Pojoaque Valley High School, he attended the University of New Mexico and later received a degree from New Mexico Highlands University.[3][dead link] 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[edit]

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 commission ended at the end of 2008.[3][dead link]

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. Luján also required utilities to diversify their renewable use to include solar, wind and biomass.[3][dead link]

Luján joined regulators in California, Oregon, and Washington to sign the Joint Action Framework on Climate Change to implement regional solutions to global warming.[4][dead link]

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]

Elections[edit]

2008

In 2008, Luján ran to succeed U.S. Rep. 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%.[5][dead link]

2010

Luján won re-election against Republican nominee Tom Mullins.[citation needed]

2012

Luján won re-election against Republican nominee Jefferson L. Byrd.[citation needed]

2014

Luján won re-election against Republican nominee Jefferson L. Byrd.[6]

Tenure[edit]

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.[7][dead link]

In June 2009, Luján voted for an amendment that would require the 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.[8][dead link] In September 2009, Luján wrote a letter urging the Obama administration not to increase the number of troops in Afghanistan. In his letter, Luján drew on conversations he had with U.S. General Stanley McChrystal and Afghan president Hamid Karzai.[8]

Energy policy[edit]

Luján has been active in environmental regulation.[9] He is Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus’ Green Economy and Renewable Energy Task Force.[9] 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.[9] Luján has high ratings from interest groups such as Environment America and the Sierra Club.[8]

Education policy[edit]

Luján has been supported by the National Education Association.[8] Luján supported the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.[9] 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.[9]

Native American issues[edit]

Luján has supported increased funding for BIA and IHS.[9] Luján opposed the Stop the War on Coal Act of 2012 and was in favor of preserving sacred Native American ground.[8] Luján worked to create legislation enabling tribes to directly request disaster assistance from the president.[8] Luján district contains 15 separate pueblo tribes as well as tribal lands of the Jicarilla Apache Nation and Navajo Nation.[10][dead link] 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.[11]

Committee assignments[edit]

Caucus Memberships[edit]

Legislative history[edit]

In 2011, Luján became a co-sponsor of Bill H.R.3261, otherwise known as the Stop Online Piracy Act.[12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.santafenewmexican.com/Local%20News/Congressional-hopefuls-file-in-crowded-races
  2. ^ Prepared Statement of Representative Ben R. Lujan Thomas Loc Gov.
  3. ^ a b c Ben Ray Lujan (D-N.M.) Who Runs Gov.
  4. ^ Oregon Agrees to Climate Change Framework Adopted by Four Public Utility Commissions. State of Oregon Public Utility Commission
  5. ^ Baker, Deborah. Lujan wins Democratic nomination, East gets GOP nod, in 3rd District. Portales News-Tribune. 4 June 2008.
  6. ^ Garcia, Kristen (4 November 2014). "Democrat Lujan defeats Byrd for U.S. House District 3". KOB TV (Albuquerque, New Mexico). Archived from the original on 5 November 2014. 
  7. ^ Luján: We Must Demand A Public Option. Project Vote Smart. 23 October 2009.
  8. ^ a b c d e f Rep. Luján Urges Administration To Reject Troop Increase In Afghanistan. Project Vote Smart. 25 September 2009.
  9. ^ a b c d e f "Issues". Ben Ray Lujan for Congress. Retrieved 23 April 2015. 
  10. ^ About the District. Website of Congressman Ben Jay Luján
  11. ^ National Institute on Money in State Politics. ""Lujan, Ben R."". followthemoney.org. Retrieved 29 January 2015. 
  12. ^ Bill H.R.3261; GovTrack.us;

External links[edit]

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Tom Udall
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New Mexico's 3rd congressional district

2009–present
Incumbent
Party political offices
Preceded by
Steve Israel
Chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee
2015–present
Incumbent
United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Blaine Luetkemeyer
United States Representatives by seniority
207th
Succeeded by
Cynthia Lummis