Today, moments before Gov. Susana Martinez' State of the State speech, longtime New Mexico House Speaker Ben Lujan, D-Santa Fe, announced he has stage 4 lung cancer and will not run for reelection.


Luján, who has served in the New Mexico House of Representatives since 1975 and has been speaker since 2001, is a staple in the Roundhouse. According to Twitter reports, his announcement that he has suffered from serious lung cancer since 2009 elicited tears from the floor.

All New Mexico lawmakers are up for election this year. Carl Trujillo, Luján's primary opponent in 2010, has already announced he plans to challenge Luján for his seat. Trujillo's running unopposed least for the moment. His campaign office just sent out this statement:

We fully anticipated this possibility and we wish Mr. Lujan and his family well. We plan to make no changes to our campaign. We have always considered our opponent to be the entire political machine, not just one man. More than ever, now's our time to create the change we need.

We'll have additional reports once our reporters return from the Roundhouse. In the meantime, follow dispatches from the Legislature on Twitter via #nmleg.