Updated: August 28, 2020 10:27 AM
Created: August 20, 2020 10:27 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- Democrat Ben Ray Lujan welcomed KOB 4 to his farm in Santa Fe County to talk about his culture and values.
"This is where grandma and grandpa, and great grandma and grandpa, grew up," Lujan said. " This is the family gathering place."
Lujan was born into a political family. At birth, his father Ben Lujan was a county commissioner who would later become a state legislator. He eventually rose to the highest post-- speaker of the house.
Despite continuing in his father's political footsteps, Lujan said New Mexico will always be home.
"So in D.C., there is a Subway sandwich shop three blocks from where I am," he said. " I eat a lot of Subway sandwiches when I'm out there."
The sandwiches don't compare to the traditional New Mexican food that Lujan likes to cook.
Lujan cooked for his chat with KOB 4's Chris Ramirez:
Chris Ramirez: What do you think would surprise New Mexicans most about you?
Ben Ray Lujan: I think that people who don't know me in different parts of the state are surprised that I live on a little farm, I'm the youngest of four, and that my brothers and sisters keep me in check.
Chris Ramirez: How do you center yourself? How do you regroup, get your mind back after you've had one of those days, stressful, maybe even a combative day?
Ben Ray Lujan: So, if I'm here, if I'm home, it's this. If I'm cooking, even by myself, I'll make a mess in the kitchen. Like what we did here, it will look like that even if I'm just cooking for myself. I'll destroy the kitchen.
Chris Ramirez: Who do you go to when you need to just be yourself and be able to think out loud? Who's that person for you?
Ben Ray Lujan: If I'm having one of those days, where it's not that I have to pick up the phone to call a friend to chat about something necessarily, but it's to go to work with mom in her garden, pulling weeds, just sitting on her porch is calming.
Chris Ramirez: How is it that you keep yourself grounded so that you don't start believing you're more important than the people who you represent?
Ben Ray Lujan: When I come home, none of this is going to take care itself, right? Mom always has a list. If you look in the garage, you'll see two lawnmowers, the shovels and hoes and everything.
Chris Ramirez: I've always gotten the sense that you have these incredible family values.
Ben Ray Lujan: It was just the way we were raised. Everyone tells me early on, when I was first elected, about the importance of humility, being humble. It's how we were raised. You and I have talked about this-- you grow up cleaning a barn and it keeps you grounded pretty good. It's just the way it was around the house. I really think it's the way mom and dad are. If you watch my mom and dad, and especially when my dad was in elected office, they treated everyone with respect and dignity, and that is how we were raised.
To watch the personality profile KOB 4 aired about Lujan's Republican opponent Mark Ronchetti, click here.
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