Here’s the full text of the endorsement:
In this hotly contested, two-way race, one candidate has the backing of the Democratic “establishment” and the endorsement of the retiring incumbent, veteran House Speaker Ben Lujan, who has served in the Legislature since 1975.
The other, Carl Trujillo, is the young upstart who almost defeated Lujan in the last election. As in so many other races in northern New Mexico, the June 5 Democratic primary is the deciding arena — no Republican is running in this heavily Democratic district.
Trujillo has his own political connections — one of his uncles currently represents Santa Fe in the Legislature. He has deep roots in Nambé, just like Lujan. With that background, we’d have expected Trujillo to be more inured to the contentiousness of political campaigning, and to have been more willing to join the fray. Instead, he’s absented himself from most of the campaign’s public forums, for which his opponent rightly criticizes him.
But Trujillo has some reason to be disgruntled with the Democratic Party establishment. He came within 80 votes of defeating Lujan in the 2010 election, suggesting that he has a real understanding of, and popularity in, the Pojoaque Valley that still comprises most of the newly redrawn district. Nevertheless, Lujan and his son, U.S. Congressman Ben Ray Lujan, are endorsing Coss.
Trujillo has been a small-business entrepreneur since early adulthood and still runs a home building company. He pursued an education in engineering and then went to work in Los Alamos National Laboratory’s materials science division, where he has stayed for more than 20 years. He’s active in his community, having served as coach for any number of sports.
A life-long Democrat, Trujillo generally follows the party line on most of the issues. But his independence from insiders in a party lately associated with numerous public corruption rackets both large and small encourages us and, as the 2010 election results showed, also strikes a chord with District 46 voters.