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Lujan Wins New Mexico First Debate


Location: Santa Fe, NM

Ben Ray Luján turned in an impressive performance at the New Mexico First debate, which aired tonight, showing why he is the best qualified to represent New Mexico's 3rd District in Congress. Luján showed that he is the only candidate who will stand up for New Mexico and put families first.

"Ben Ray Luján made it clear that he will stand up for the people of New Mexico," said Danielle Duran, a Councilwoman in Española and a New Mexico Trade Representative. "His focus on middle class tax relief and affordable, accessible health care will help hardworking families across the state. Ben showed a strong command of the issues and convincingly explained that his experience as a Public Regulation Commissioner and his work on energy, health care and the economy will allow him to make an immediate impact as our next member of Congress."

Luján related his experience on the Public Regulation Commission to the major issues facing the next Congress, including health care, energy, infrastructure and holding irresponsible corporations accountable.

The debate opened with a discussion about the health care crisis facing our country. Luján talked about the need to provide affordable, accessible health care for all.

"There are too many people who are getting left out," said Luján. "We have to make sure we get the health care system fixed."

Luján also discussed the need to provide more and better health care for veterans.

Veterans "aren't getting the health care they earned and deserve," said Luján "We need to provide health care for our veterans. They are coming home with alarming rates of PTSD and traumatic brain injury."

The debate moved to the economy. Luján made the middle class a focus of his discussion.

"The economy is ignoring the middle class and hardworking people," he said. "The framework that the economy has been built on over the last eight years has been an attack on the middle class."

When discussing the recent financial bailout, Luján talked about the need for reform, accountability and oversight and his experience of holding corporations accountable as a Public Regulation Commissioner.

"It's a matter of oversight and accountability," said Luján. "We have to look at the policies that got us here. What got us here were the irresponsible practices by corporate entities. I've taken on corporate irresponsibility on the Public Regulation Commission."

The debate also discussed energy and education.

"We need long term solutions to solve our dependence on foreign oil," said Luján.

Luján went on to discuss the need to develop renewable energy, which can create new, clean energy jobs right here in New Mexico. He talked about solving the renewable energy storage and transmission problems using our resources in New Mexico, including the labs. As a Public Regulation Commissioner, Luján fought to require utility companies to expand their use of renewable energy. When the Bush Administration refused to address global warming, Commissioner Luján joined with elected officials in California, Oregon and Washington to create regional solutions to global warming.

Luján also talked about the need to scrap No Child Left Behind and support a strong public education system.

"Our schools need to teach students to be critical thinkers," said Luján. "We need to invest in our public schools and create a strong public education system."

"Tonight, Ben Ray Luján made it clear that he will stand up for the people of New Mexico and focus on the middle class," said Mark Nicastre, Luján's Communications Director. "Ben Ray Luján will work to get our country back on track and bring change to Washington. He has the right experience on all of the issues facing our next Congress, including energy, health care and holding irresponsible corporations accountable."

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