Ben Ray Luján wins U.S. Senate Seat for New Mexico
Rep. Ben Ray Luján’s bid for Senate could create a domino effect for Latinos in Congress.
In a decisive win against Republican Mark Ronchetti, Rep. Ben Ray Lujan has secured his victory for New Mexico’s other Senate Seat alongside Democrat Martin Heinrich.
The New York Times projects his win by over 4 points, solidifying the Democratic hold over New Mexico.
“More people voted in this election than any other time in this state’s history,” Lujan said in his election night closing statement.
As your United States Senator, I will not stop fighting to get the help we need,” he continued, citing New Mexico’s working recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.
It was seen as a race that would test the current Democratic hold on New Mexico, as the State is currently run by Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham.
In the open Senate race, Rep. Luján (NM-3) propels himself to the upper levels of Congress, but it also affects subsequent moves within the Hispanic Caucus.
Luján is the current Assistant Speaker of the house since 2019, therefore the highest-ranking Latino in Congress.
With his win over Ronchetti, the impacts run deep.
Rep. Tony Cárdenas, a four-term congressman from California, announced that he will seek the position of Assistant Speaker of the House in August, as it will now be left vacant following Luján’s win.
The potential of this decision, in terms of the chain of representation, is remarkable.
Should Cárdenas succeed Luján, then Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.) could potentially follow Cárdenas in his position of CHC Bold PAC chair, which has been highly successful under his direction with regards to fundraising for progressive candidates for office.
It’s a win for representation and Latinx reps in Congress on multiple fronts.
But most importantly, Luján’s victory is key to the future of flipping the now-Republican-controlled Senate.