Candidate watch: Ben Ray Lujan

Who: Ben Ray Lujan

Seeking: New Mexico’s 3rd Congressional District seat.

Seat is held by: Tom Udall, who is leaving the seat to run for the U.S. Senate.

Opponents: Republican Dan East, Independent Carol Miller.

(Editor’s Note: Candidates are given a choice of three questions to answer specific to the seat and its challenges. The same questions will be offered to opposing candidates.)

Q: District 3 is a very big district, stretching from Gallup to Farmington to Raton to Portales. How do you plan to balance your commitments to the area?

A: We are in a very diverse district, 16 counties across New Mexico. It’s a beautiful district. The people in the district are what make it special. It’s important that you stay in touch with the constituents. You travel around, you have a presence. When you are not in Washington, you have to be home. I think that we saw it here, with the effort to make sure we kept Cannon. You saw a community that came together, truly working together to create that voice to do what was best for the community. That’s exactly what I believe needs to be done.

You have to have a strong presence, make sure you’re listening to your constituents, that you’re directly working with them to see their needs are carried out.

Word association

• President Bush: Needs improvement.

• Gov. Richardson: Tough.

• Yourself: Energetic.

• Sarah Palin is: Trying.

• America’s biggest challenge: The economy.

• The $700 billion bailout is: A start.

• Best TV/movie president: Michael Douglas.

• If you ever run for president, your dream VP pick is: Warren Buffett.

• Favorite meal you can cook? Steak.

• Outside of politics, your dream job: Human rights advocacy.

• Will a woman be U.S. president by 2025? Absolutely possible.

• Best way to cut down on dependence of foreign oil: Renewable energy development.

For information on Lujan:

(505) 988-2442

— Compiled by CNJ Staff