NM Senator Ben Ray Lujan Suffers a Stroke

Full Recovery Expected


Courtesy of J. Scott Applewhite/Associated Press file photo

On February 1, 2022, Democrat Senator Ben Ray Lujan of New Mexico suffered a stroke that left him hospitalized. He is expected to make a full and fairly quick recovery, though the implications of the scare for the 50-50 senate are still being processed.

A statement from Senator Lujan’s office said that he was admitted to the UNM hospital, after experiencing symptoms like dizziness, and had to undergo a surgical procedure as part of his treatment plan. His chief of staff added that he would make a full recovery, and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a Democrat from New York, announced that Lujan is expected to be back in the Senate “quickly”. The fact that he had a stroke at the age of 49 raised chilling scenarios about the fate of Democrats’ slim majority in the Senate, though some Senators were optimistic that the event would not change the agenda of the chamber in large ways. In the short term, Democrats maintain a working majority, even with Lujan’s absence, due to the fact that two Republican senators are currently in quarantine after contracting COVID-19. In the long-term, this absence may not affect the fate of President Biden’s push to confirm a new Supreme Court justice, because it will take at least two months until Lujan’s vote would be required to proceed on such a measure. Of course, the exact duration of his absence is currently unknown, and is crucial to the work of the Senate going forward.