Democratic Senator Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico suffered a stroke and was hospitalized last week, his office revealed Tuesday in an announcement that sent shock waves through the 50-50 Senate.

The 49-year-old Democrat checked himself into a hospital in Santa Fe on Thursday after he began to experience dizziness and fatigue, according to his chief of staff.

Fully vaccinated Ben Ray Luján, 49, suffered a stroke and was hospitalized last week.

His chief of staff, Carlos Sanchez, issued the following statement on Tuesday:

“Early Thursday morning, Senator Luján began experiencing dizziness and fatigue. He checked himself into Christus St. Vincent Regional Hospital in Santa Fe. He was then transferred to UNM Hospital in Albuquerque for further evaluation. Senator Lujan was found to have suffered a stroke in the cerebellum, affecting his balance. As part of his treatment plan, he subsequently underwent decompressive surgery to ease swelling.

He is currently being cared for at UNM hospital, resting comfortably, and expected to make a full recovery. The Senator’s offices remain open and will continue providing constituent services to all New Mexicans without any interruption. The Senator and his family would like to thank the wonderful doctors and staff at both UNM Hospital and Christus St. Vincent Regional Hospital for their excellent care during this time. Senator Lujan looks forward to getting back to work for the people of New Mexico. At this time, he and his family would appreciate their privacy, and ask for your continued prayers and well wishes.

Democratic Senator Jon Tester told Politico after hearing about Luján’s stroke:

Jesus. He had a stroke? First [time] I’ve heard of it.

Oh, my God. I’ll find out. I did not know that, wow. It makes me worried about him, he’s too young for that stuff.

Luján had posted several tweets to his account as recently as late last year encouraging others to get vaccinated and boosted. The senator received his first shot in December 2020. Part of the caption of his vaccine proof photo was:

“There is nothing to fear about getting vaccinated to protect yourself from this deadly disease.”

On November 22nd, 2021, Luján enthusiastically tweeted about the COVID-19 booster shot:

His fanaticism about the vaccines continued:

Tweet
Tweet

It is not clear when Luján will be able to return to the Senate for business.

On April 1st, 2019, Luján announced his intention to seek the United States Senate seat being vacated by two-term Democratic incumbent Tom Udall in the 2020 election. He defeated Republican Mark Ronchetti in the general election on November 3rd, 2020 and took office on January 3rd, 2021.

Luján became the first Hispanic Senator to represent New Mexico in more than 40 years.

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