LAS CRUCES, N.M. — Former state representative and now senator-elect Joseph Cervantes remembered the longtime speaker of the house Ben Lujan who passed away Tuesday.
Lujan had served as speaker since 1975 and certainly left his mark on New Mexico politics.
"The speaker was one of the longest serving speakers in nm history and there's a lot of knowledge and wisdom that comes with those years of service," Cervantes said.
Lujan passed away surrounded by family after battling lung cancer.
Cervantes recalled the speaker's work ethic and dedication to the people.
"He was an exceptionally good political leader and very good at fighting for the people he felt he was representing," Cervantes said.
Cervantes added as recently as a week ago, Lujan had been participating in meetings by phone.
During the 12 years working alongside the lifelong politician, Cervantes said he gained plenty of knowledge from his colleague.
"I learned 12 years of politics from Speaker Lujan and he was about as good as they come," Cervantes said.
The legislative session opens January 15th of next year.