By anyone’s measure, Speaker Ben Lujan was a big man whose steadfast advocacy for families and New Mexico propelled him to become one of our state’s most beloved statesmen. Thanks to his tireless service and leadership, his legacy now extends far beyond his home in Nambé – through his family, friends and fellow legislators across New Mexico and through his son all the way to Washington, D.C.
On learning of the sad news of his passing Tuesday night, we call on Governor Martinez to order
the state’s flags flown at half-staff, an honor that has been granted countless previous times to recognize the passing of notable New Mexicans.
It is tradition that the governor order flags flown at half-staff to
honor the passing of distinguished New Mexicans be they public safety officers, members of our armed services or legislators. A quick review of this governor’s executive orders find that she has done so no less than 15 times since taking office – including most recently for the passing of Republican Representative Jeanette Wallace in October. Now, in the second day since the passing of our sitting Speaker of the House, no such order has been issued.
While Governor Martinez has issued a statement of condolence on Speaker Lujan’s passing, she has not issued an order honoring his service by the lowering of the state’s flags. Such an honor is befitting any public servant, and particularly the sitting Speaker of the House of Representatives and lifelong public servant Ben Lujan. We call on Governor Martinez to issue such an order as she and other governors have done for more than a century to mark the passing of prominent citizens.