Michelle Lujan Grisham

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Michelle Lujan Grisham
Michelle Lujan Grisham official photo.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New Mexico's 1st district
Assumed office
January 3, 2013
Preceded by Martin Heinrich
Personal details
Born (1959-10-24) October 24, 1959 (age 55)
Los Alamos, New Mexico, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Gregory Grisham (Deceased)
Children 2
Alma mater University of New Mexico,
Religion Roman Catholicism[citation needed]
Website House website

Michelle Lujan Grisham (born October 24, 1959) is an American lawyer and politician who is the U.S. Representative for New Mexico's 1st congressional district, serving since 2013. She has served in the New Mexico state cabinet, and as Bernalillo County Commissioner.

Early life and education[edit]

Lujan Grisham was born in Los Alamos, New Mexico, and grew up in Santa Fe. Her father, Buddy Lujan, practiced dentistry into his 80s until he died in March 2011. Her mother, Sonja, stayed at home. Michelle's sister Kimberly was diagnosed with a brain tumor when she was two years old. She quickly exhausted her lifetime caps on her health insurance. She died when she was 21 and the parents spent decades after Kimberly’s death paying off the debt, making health care reform an important issue for Michelle.[1]

She graduated from St. Michael's High School. She received a bachelor of university studies degree from the University of New Mexico (UNM) in 1981. She earned a law degree from the UNM School of Law in 1987.[2][3]

Public sector career[edit]

Lujan Grisham served as director of New Mexico's Agency on Aging under Governors Bruce King, Gary Johnson, and Bill Richardson, who elevated the position to the state cabinet. In 2004, Richardson named Lujan Grisham the secretary of the Department of Health.[3]

Lujan Grisham served as a Bernalillo County Commissioner from 2010 through 2012.

Congressional elections[edit]


She resigned as Secretary of Health in order to run for the United States House of Representatives in the 2008 elections, losing in the Democratic primary to Martin Heinrich. He won the Democratic primary on June 3, 2008 with 44% of the vote. New Mexico Secretary of State Rebecca Vigil-Giron ranked second with 25% and Michelle Lujan-Grisham ranked third with 24% of the vote.[4][5][6]


Lujan Grisham sought the Democratic nomination for the House in 2012, with Martin Heinrich leaving to run for the United States Senate. She won the nomination, defeating Marty Chavez and Eric Griego.[7] She faced Janice Arnold-Jones, a former member of the New Mexico House of Representatives, in the November general election.[8] Lujan Grisham defeated Arnold-Jones,[9] 59%–41%.[10]


Lujan Grisham defeated Republican Mike Frese in the 2014 elections, 59%-41%.[11]

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]


Congresswoman Lujan Grisham was sworn into a two-year term on January 3, 2013.

Committee assignments[edit]

Personal life[edit]

Lujan Grisham's uncle is Manuel Lujan, Jr., who served in the House of Representatives from New Mexico as a Republican, and served as Secretary of Interior during the presidency of George H. W. Bush. Her grandfather, Eugene Lujan, was Chief Justice of the New Mexico Supreme Court.[12] Her cousin, Ben R. Luján, represents New Mexico's 3rd congressional district in the House of Representatives, while his father, Ben Luján was Speaker of the New Mexico House of Representatives.

Lujan Grisham's husband, Gregory, died of a brain aneurysm in 2004. The couple had two daughters.[13] Lujan Grisham filed a wrongful death suit against her husband's physician,[14] which was dismissed.[13]


  1. ^ "Sister’s death drives Michelle Lujan Grisham – Seung Min Kim". Politico.Com. January 28, 2013. Retrieved July 21, 2013. 
  2. ^ Harder, Amy. "New Mexico, 1st House District". NationalJournal.com. Retrieved July 21, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b "ABQJOURNAL NEWS/STATE: Former Health Secretary Grisham Announces for Congress". Abqjournal.com. October 11, 2007. Retrieved September 14, 2012. 
  4. ^ "NM District 1- D Primary Race – Jun 03, 2008". Our Campaigns. Retrieved July 21, 2013. 
  5. ^ Las Cruces Sun-News. FINAL RESULTS: June 3 primary election June 20, 2008
  6. ^ Salazar, Martin (June 29, 2008). "ABQJOURNAL NEWS/METRO: Top UNM official red-faced over Lujan Grisham comments". Abqjournal.com. Retrieved September 14, 2012. 
  7. ^ "Third Democrat Vies to Succeed Heinrich in N.M. District : Roll Call Politics". Rollcall.com. August 17, 2011. Retrieved September 14, 2012. 
  8. ^ "Congressional opponents face off in first debate". KOB. September 9, 2012. Retrieved September 14, 2012. 
  9. ^ "New Mexico Election Results 2012: Heinrich wins Senate race; Grisham joins her cousin Lujan in Congress; Latino population lifts Obama to win". Washington Post. November 7, 2012. Retrieved November 7, 2012. 
  10. ^ Reichbach, Matthew (November 7, 2012). "Lujan Grisham blowout could mean no more swing Congressional districts". New Mexico Telegram. Retrieved November 10, 2012. 
  11. ^ http://www.koat.com/politics/koat-prediction-grisham-reelected-as-congresswoman/29530392
  12. ^ "Michelle Lujan Grisham running for First District seat". New Mexico Independent. Retrieved September 14, 2012. 
  13. ^ a b Heild, Colleen (December 23, 2007). "ABQjournal Metro: Doctor Says Dropped Suit Hurt Reputation". Abqjournal.com. Retrieved September 14, 2012. 
  14. ^ New Mexico Business Weekly. "Former health secretary files wrongful death suit – New Mexico Business Weekly". Bizjournals.com. Retrieved September 14, 2012. 

External links[edit]

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Martin Heinrich
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New Mexico's 1st congressional district

United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Alan Lowenthal
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Sean Patrick Maloney