State Senator Mario Gallegos Passes Away At Age 62

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State Senator Mario Gallegos passed away today at age 62 from complications associated with a 2007 liver transplant. Senator Gallegos served in the Legislature for 22 years. The first Hispanic Senator elected from Harris County, he was a staunch advocate for issues that impact the Hispanic community, as well as education and criminal justice.

In 2007, Senator Gallegos returned to the Capitol shortly after a liver transplant, so that he could cast his vote as the 11th Senator against the Republicans' Photo Voter ID bill that session.

The Houston Chronicle blogged at the time:

Doctors wanted Gallegos to stay in Houston. But doing so would have given Republicans enough votes to pass a voter identification bill.

Gallegos and every Democrat oppose the legislation, contending that it's part of an orchestrated campaign to suppress voting of low-income and elderly citizens.

Gallegos was a champion of Democratic and progressive causes. This is a sad day for Texas, who have lost a leader who fought for the people to the very end.

Our condolences to his family, friends, staff, and colleagues in this sad time.  


About Author

Katherine Haenschen

Katherine Haenschen is a PhD candidate at the University of Texas, where she studies political participation on digital media. She previously managed successful candidate, issue, voter registration, and GOTV campaigns in Central Texas. She is also a fan of UCONN women's basketball and breakfast tacos.


  1. A sad — and dangerous — day for Texas
    We've lost a leader of courage and integrity who risked his life cast the 11th vote needed to block Republican mischief. It's a tragedy for his family above all, and for his supporters and admirers everywhere.

    It's also a sad day for the values that Gallegos fought for, since we just lost the 11th vote needed to block Republican mischief in 2013. According to the Austin American-Statesman, Gallegos' name will remain on the ballot, but if he wins there will be a special election in May 2013 — too late to fill the seat for the regular 2013 legislative session. Either Gallegos' district will be represented by a Republican, or it won't be represented at all. Either way, his district and Texas lose.  

  2. Such a shame…
    Texas lost a true champion. The republicans will launch a desperate campaign to get swing voters to vote for their candidate. We HAVE to win this seat and force a special election, or the republicans will run it into the ground over the next 6 years.

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