Father of Luján Dies in New Mexico

Jason Dick
Posted December 19, 2012 at 5:30pm

Sad day for Rep. Ben Ray Luján, D-N.M., whose father, New Mexico Speaker Ben Lujan, died late Tuesday in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

The Associated Press reported the cause of death for the 77-year-old legislator was lung cancer, which was diagnosed in 2009. He was first elected to the New Mexico House in 1974.

In January, he announced that he would not seek re-election in November. He presided over the state House through the 2012 session, although he was battling stage 4 cancer.

In an interview with CQ Roll Call earlier this year, Rep. Ben Ray Luján reflected on his father’s legacy.

“He’s been able to be the leader that he is because of the compassion that he brings of people, as well as the passion of the policy, because he really believes it’s going to change people’s lives,” he  said. “Watching him interact with people and what he did was not something I probably fully appreciated until my mid-20s.”

No word yet on funeral arrangements.