U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján
From the Office of U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján:
Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján (D-NM) announced his bid for Assistant Democratic Leader in the 116th Congress. In a letter to his colleagues, Congressman Luján outlined his vision for the next Congress.
“To succeed, we must welcome ideas from all corners of our Caucus. To protect our majority and hold the Trump administration and Congressional Republicans accountable, we must bring our vision directly to the American people, listen to their concerns, and show them how we are working for them.”
Rep. Luján, a native New Mexican, was first elected to serve in Congress in 2008. He is a member the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, the House Energy & Commerce Committee, and has served as the Chair of the Democratic Campaign Committee for two Congresses.
Full text of letter:
November 7, 2018
Dear Democratic Colleague,
The last 24 hours have been exhilarating. We now have an incoming class of Members from districts across the country that were unattainable just a few short years ago. Thank you for all you have done to help deliver this historic victory.
When I was elected as Chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), we knew what was at stake. So we dug deep. We asked the hard questions, made the tough decisions, and got answers on what worked and where we must do better. We knew that strengthening the DCCC was not just about winning yesterday; it was about taking back our country and protecting our democracy for future generations.
I never said it would be easy, which is why we made fundamental reforms that put us in a position to win. We increased staff diversity, improved transparency, invested in training, developed data-driven messaging, launched a record-breaking digital campaign, bolstered Member engagement, and recruited incredible candidates. We committed to an expansive battlefield and built a strong connection with the grassroots. By refusing to do something just because it had been done before, by listening to all of you, and by turning over every last stone, we delivered for the American people.
While laying the groundwork for last night, we held a united front as we fought for our constituents in Committee and on the House floor. We advocated for increased investments for our behavioral health care system in the bipartisan opioids package. We stood next to each other through early mornings and late nights against Republican efforts to take away health coverage from millions of Americans. And we successfully defined the GOP Tax Scam and health care repeal efforts.
I have always believed that you earn people’s respect by listening to them. That has been true as I have traveled across the country with all of you visiting with voters. Every one of you has demonstrated to the American people that we will put them first. As a result, we took back the U.S. House of Representatives. To build on this shared victory, I am reaching out to you to announce my candidacy for Assistant Democratic Leader.
We come from every part of the United States, representing districts that are each special and unique. Growing up on a small farm in New Mexico, I learned from my family the importance of hard work, caring for our neighbors, and looking out for one another. I carry those values with me as I travel across the farms, small towns, and cities of my district, speaking with New Mexicans who are looking for a fair shot at the American Dream. I know you do the same as you travel your own districts.
No matter where we are from or whom we serve, we face common challenges. Each of us has grieved with a parent who lost a child too soon to a preventable tragedy; each of us has fought for a veteran who has been denied the care she deserves; each of us has heard from students drowning in debt, seniors worried about their retirement security, and families struggling to make ends meet.
With our new majority, we have an opportunity to address these challenges. To succeed, we must welcome ideas from all corners of our Caucus. To protect our majority and hold the Trump administration and Congressional Republicans accountable, we must bring our strategy directly to the American people, listen to their concerns, and show them how we are working for them. Together, we will reduce the cost of quality health care, create good paying jobs, clean up corruption, close the digital divide, protect Medicare and Social Security, and fight climate change.
It has been an honor to work with you. From rallying with you in the rain in Kansas, to pounding the pavement alongside you in Southern California, to running on Cuban coffee in south Florida, from coast to coast and everywhere in between, we made history together. Yet, we know that what we do with this win is more important than the victory itself.
I would be honored to work with you to carry this progress forward and earn your support as Assistant Democratic Leader.
Ben Ray Luján