Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Speaker Seeks Re-election

House Speaker Ben Lujan announced today that he's seeking re-election to his District 46 seat in the state House of Representatives.

Lujan, a former Santa Fe County Commissioner, was first elected to the House in 1974. He was elected speaker in 2001.

I can't remember the last time he had an election opponent.

He's the father of U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Lujan.

I have to kid Lujan a little here. A few years ago I asked him how long he intended to stay in the Legislature. He answered jokingly, "I'll retire when Pete Domenici retires.

I guess that answer was premature.

UPDPATE: A gentle reader reminded me of the last time Lujan had opposition.

Here's a clip from a Nov. 8, 2000 story by my former colleague Mark Hummels:

Rep. Ben Lujan, D-Nambe, fought off a challenge by independent Robb Young Hirsch, a Santa Fe educator who ran an unconventional race, campaigning from the seat of a mountain bike and refusing all monetary donations. ...

Lujan, a retired iron worker who serves as House majority leader, will enter his 14th term in office. He won 64.3 percent of the vote Tuesday, compared to Hirsch's 35.6 percent.

Shortly after that, Lujan was nominated to be speaker by the House Democratic Caucus.