SANTA FE (AP) — House Speaker Ben Lujan has lung cancer and will not seek re-election this year, the 76-year-old announced Tuesday in a dramatic opening of a 30-day legislative session.
The Santa Fe Democrat, who has been speaker since 2001, made his announcement as shocked lawmakers wept and his wife, Carmen, and son, Democratic Congressman Ben Ray Lujan, looked on.
Lujan said he was diagnosed with cancer in 2009 and has undergone radiation and chemotherapy treatment. He said his cancer is now at stage 4, the most advanced stage of cancer.
"I was hoping to tell you the cancer is gone, but as you can see, it is not," said Lujan, who has served in the House since 1975.