Ben Ray Lujan is a current member of the United States Senate, representing New Mexico. A Democrat, he was elected to the Senate in 2020. Lujan succeeded Tom Udall, who wasn't running for re-election. Udall has since become U.S. ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa.

Lujan's committee assignments include chairing the Communications, Media, and Broadband Subcommittee of the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. He has recently been dealt a significant health issue to combat as well.

Hospitalized due to a stroke

Ben Ray Lujan has been diagnosed with a stroke, indicates the Albuquerque Journal.

He was apparently initially checked into a hospital due to intense dizziness and fatigue. There, Lujan was reportedly discovered to have had a stroke. Eventually, he was transferred to the University of Nex Mexico Hospital.

After being transferred, Lujan underwent brain surgery, including a decompressive craniectomy. A procedure where a portion of the skull is removed. The reason behind the procedure is to make room for the swell of the brain caused by trauma.

Lujan is expected to recover fully, but it's unclear how long he could possibly be out of commission. Noted by Reuters, his possible absence could have a big effect on happenings of the very evenly divided Senate. Including, but not limited to, voting on a Supreme Court vacancy.

At least three confirmation votes have been postponed following the news. In addition, nominees for the Federal Communications Committee, Federal Trade Commission, and Consumer Product Safety Commissioner were scheduled for a vote.

Before joining the Senate, Lujan was a United States House of Representatives member. He held a seat from the 3rd District of New Mexico, including Santa Fe.

Lujan was first elected in 2008 and was also succeeding Tom Udall at that time as well. He eventually was given the role of assistant speaker of the House.

Previously, Lujan had been part of the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission. He graduated from Pojoaque Valley High School in Santa Fe County. Later, he attended the University of New Mexico before receiving a business degree from New Mexico Highlands University.

Is a member of a prominent political family

Ben Ray Lujan's family has achieved political success on both sides of the proverbial aisle. Another similarity he shares with his two-time predecessor, Tom Udall. This includes Lujan's father, also named Ben. The elder Lujan was a longtime member of the New Mexico House of Representatives, serving until his death. He rose to become the body's majority whip, majority floor leader, and speaker.

The family also includes current New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, also a Democrat. Cousins, Ben Ray Lujan, and Michelle Lujan Grisham served in the U.S. House of Representatives together. Lujan Grisham was a member of New Mexico's 1st District, which includes most of Albuquerque.

Her grandfather, Eugene David Lujan, was a state's Supreme Court member.

Politicians in the Lujan family have also included high-profile Republicans. Manuel Lujan Sr. served as the mayor of Santa Fe and nearly became the state's governor. His son, Manuel Jr., was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives for two decades, then served as U.S. secretary of the interior under President George H.W. Bush.