SANTA FE — The Legislature returned to work Tuesday on a somber note as the top leader in the House disclosed he had advanced-stage lung cancer.
Some lawmakers wept as House Speaker Ben Lujan, D-Santa Fe, shared the news and said he would not be seeking re-election.
“I was hoping to tell you the cancer is gone, but as you can see, it is not,” said Lujan, 76, who has served in the House since 1975 and has been the top House leader since 2001.
The announcement came shortly before Republican Gov. Susana Martinez outlined her agenda in a “state of the state” speech to a joint session of the House and Senate. At the start of her remarks, Martinez told Lujan “New Mexico is pulling for you.”