In northern New Mexico, Democratic Congressman Ben Ray Lujan cruised to an easy victory in District 3, and political experts say he could be his party’s rising star.
“Lujan is the head of the [Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee] that’s in control of Congressional races around the country, given the fact that the Democrats outperformed what even pollsters suggested their advantage would be, all of that credit goes directly to Ben Ray Lujan,” said Prof. Gabriel Sanchez, KRQE News 13 political analyst.
Tuesday night, Lujan appeared with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi as the Democrats celebrated taking control of the House.
Wednesday afternoon, Lujan announced he will run for Assistant Democratic Leader in the House, which is the fourth highest position in the House.
Sanchez thinks Lujan could be named Majority Whip under Pelosi as House Speaker, and may even take over her job at some point.
“One of the things we saw in the CNN exit polls is that a lot of Democrats were saying, ‘Hey, we’re very enthusiastic, we’re energized, but it might be time for a fresh face at that leadership level,'” Sanchez said.
Lujan retained his Congressional seat with 63 percent of the vote.