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Sen. Ben Ray Luján Recovering From Stroke in Albuquerque

February 1, 2022 by Dan McCue
<strong></img>Sen. Ben Ray Luján Recovering From Stroke in Albuquerque</strong>
Sen. Ben Ray Luján, D-N.M. (Photo by Dan McCue)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Sen. Ben Ray Luján, D-N.M., is expected to make a full recovery after suffering a stroke while visiting his home state last week.

Luján began experiencing dizziness and fatigue early last Thursday morning and checked himself into CHRISTUS St. Vincent Regional Medical Center in Santa Fe. He was then transferred to University of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque for further evaluation, his chief of staff, Carlos Sanchez, said in a written statement.

“Sen. Luján was found to have suffered a stroke in the cerebellum, affecting his balance,” the statement released Tuesday said. “As part of his treatment plan, he subsequently underwent decompressive surgery to ease swelling.”

Luján is still in the hospital and expected to make a full recovery, his office said.

“At this time, he and his family would appreciate their privacy, and ask for your continued prayers and well wishes,” Sanchez said.

New Mexico’s other Democratic senator, Martin Heinrich, issued a statement Tuesday afternoon saying, “My thoughts are with Sen. Luján, who I am fortunate to count as both a colleague and a friend. 

“I know that all of my fellow senators and our constituents in New Mexico join me in sending our best wishes to Sen. Luján, his family and his staff. Sen. Luján is a fighter and I have every confidence that he will have a full and speedy recovery,” he said.

The 49-year-old Democrat won the Senate seat in 2020 after serving five terms in the House, where he was a trusted ally of Speaker Nancy Pelosi. 

As one of the highest-ranking Latinos in Congress, Luján led the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the party’s arm that supports House candidates, in the 2016 and 2018 elections.

A 50-50 split of the Senate has given Democrats control of the chamber with Vice President Kamala Harris holding the tie-breaking vote. 

Democrats will retain control while Luján is recovering, but will have only 49 voting members on their side of the aisle.

Meanwhile, New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan-Grisham, another member of the politically prominent Lujan clan, tweeted her well wishes to the senator and his family, suggesting, “Ben Ray is a tough norteño and I know he’ll be back on the Senate floor fighting for New Mexico families in no time — all of New Mexico is wishing him a speedy and full recovery.”

Dan can be reached at dan@thewellnews.com and at https://twitter.com/DanMcCue

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