Mario Gallegos Jr.

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Mario Gallegos Jr.
Mario Gallegos, Jr. 2012.jpg
Gallegos in 2012
Member of the Texas Senate
from the 6th district
In office
1995–2012
Preceded by Dan Shelley
Succeeded by Sylvia Garcia
Member of the Texas House of Representatives
from the 143rd district
In office
1991–1995
Preceded by Albert Luna, III
Succeeded by Gerard Torres
Personal details
Born Mario Valentin Gallegos Jr.
(1950-09-08)September 8, 1950
Died October 16, 2012(2012-10-16) (aged 62)
Houston, Texas
Resting place Forest Park Lawndale Cemetery
Houston, Texas
Political party Democratic
Residence Houston, Texas
Alma mater Univ. of Houston–Downtown
Profession Retired firefighter
Religion Roman Catholic

Mario Valentin Gallegos Jr. (September 8, 1950 – October 16, 2012)[1] was a Democratic politician in the U.S. state of Texas. He was the senator from District 6 in the Texas Senate, which serves a portion of Harris County.

Political career[edit]

Gallegos, who originated from the Magnolia Park community of Houston,[2] was a long-time firefighter with the Houston Fire Department[3] and retired as a Senior Captain after 22 years of service.[3] In 1990, he was elected to the 72nd Legislature in the Texas House of Representatives from District 143, where he served two terms, from 1991 to 1995.

In 1994, Representatives Gallegos and Yolanda Navarro Flores and former Representative Roman O. Martinez squared off in the Democratic primary for a recently redrawn Senate District 6. Martinez received a plurality of the votes and faced Gallegos in a runoff. Gallegos secured the endorsement of former opponent Flores and won, and with no other candidates for the Senate seat, Gallegos became the first Mexican American elected to that body from Harris County.[citation needed]

Gallegos faced no opposition in 1998 and was reelected to the Senate. In July 2001, Gallegos was named one of the worst legislators in Texas by Texas Monthly magazine in their biennial feature. The authors noted that Gallegos was “a retired firefighter who threw gasoline on every combustible issue,” and noted his penchant for injecting race into seemingly innocuous legislation.[4]

Gallegos was unopposed in 2002, but in 2004, Gallegos was again challenged by Yolanda Navarro Flores in the Democratic primary. Amidst two separate lawsuits challenging his residency within District 6 boundaries, and revelations (and another lawsuit) regarding a 17-year affair with former stripper Susan Delgado,[5] Gallegos won a close contest. In the 2004 general election, he faced Libertarian challenger Tony Deppenschmidt along with a write-in challenge from his former mistress, Delgado. Gallegos won handily with over 90% of the votes.

In July 2005, Gallegos was again named one of the worst legislators in Texas by Texas Monthly.[6] Nevertheless, Gallegos was sworn in as Governor for one day on May 5, 2007, in a Texas tradition honoring the Senate President Pro Term.[7]

Personal life[edit]

Gallegos attended the University of Houston–Downtown (UHD) where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in social sciences in 2001.

On March 10, 2006, Gallegos released a statement acknowledging that he was in a one-month residential treatment program for his alcoholism.[8] On January 11, 2007, Gallegos announced that he was suffering from cirrhosis of the liver, and would require a liver transplant,[9] and on January 19, 2007, Gallegos received a liver transplant at the Texas Medical Center in Houston. His liver donor was 16-year-old Robby Joe Trevino Jr. of Fort Worth, Texas who died unexpectedly from Cardiomyopathy. According to a statement from Gallegos prior to the surgery, he would miss about 18 days of the Regular Session of the 80th Legislature.[10]

Gallegos installed a hospital bed in the office of the sergeant-at-arms at the capitol building so that he could be nearby to prevent discussion of a bill requiring voter identification, against doctors' orders.[11]

In October 2012 Gallegos was hospitalized and later died.[12][13]

Election History[edit]

Most recent election[edit]

2004[edit]

Texas general election, 2004: Senate District 6[14]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Mario V. Gallegos Jr. 75,318 91.74 -8.24
Libertarian Tony Deppenschmidt 6,614 8.05 +8.05
Write-In Susan Delgado 160 0.19 +0.19
Majority 68,704 83.69 -16.31
Turnout 82,092 +51.65
Democratic hold
Democratic primary, 2004: Senate District 6[15]
Candidate Votes % ±
Mario V. Gallegos Jr. 6,484 53.92
Yolanda Navarro Flores 5,541 46.07
Turnout 12,025

Previous elections[edit]

2002[edit]

Texas general election, 2002: Senate District 6[16]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Mario V. Gallegos Jr. 54,130 100.00 0.00
Majority 54,130 100.00 +43.41
Turnout 54,130 +43.41
Democratic hold

1998[edit]

Texas general election, 1998: Senate District 6[17]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Mario V. Gallegos Jr. 37,746 100.00 0.00
Majority 37,746 100.00 -2.59
Turnout 37,746 -2.59
Democratic hold

1994[edit]

Texas general election, 1994: Senate District 6[18]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Mario V. Gallegos Jr. 38,749 100.00 +57.52
Majority 38,749 100.00 +69.20
Turnout 38,749 -74.55
Democratic gain from Republican
Democratic primary runoff, 1994: Senate District 6[19]
Candidate Votes % ±
Mario V. Gallegos Jr. 9,613 57.19
Roman O. Martinez 7,193 42.80
Turnout 16,806
Democratic primary, 1994: Senate District 6[20]
Candidate Votes % ±
Roman O. Martinez 9,026 37.91
Mario V. Gallegos Jr. 5,990 25.15
Yolanda Navarro Flores 4,936 20.73
David Thomas McCullough 3,857 16.19
Turnout 23,809

1992[edit]

Texas general election, 1992: House District 143[21]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Mario V. Gallegos Jr. 15,939 100.00
Majority 15,939 100.00
Turnout 15,939
Democratic hold
Democratic primary, 1992: House District 143[22]
Candidate Votes % ±
Mario V. Gallegos Jr. 4,732 59.75
Don Jones 1,874 23.66
R.J. 'Reggie' Gonzales 1,313 16.58
Turnout 7,919

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Office of the Secretary of State (Texas) (2002-09-13). "State Senate Candidates for 2002 General Election". Retrieved 2006-12-26. 
  2. ^ Hewitt, Paige. "Celebrating 100 years at Magnolia Park." Houston Chronicle. October 18, 2009. Retrieved July 24, 2010.
  3. ^ a b Senator Mario Gallegos Jr.: District 6 Official State Senate Website
  4. ^ Burka, Paul; Patricia Kilday Hart (July 2001). "The Best and Worst Legislators" (subscription required). Texas Monthly. Retrieved 2006-03-12. 
  5. ^ Williams, John (2004-02-06). "Woman's lawsuit accuses Gallegos of emotional abuse". Houston Chronicle. p. A28. Retrieved 2006-03-12. 
  6. ^ Burka, Paul; Patricia Kilday Hart (July 2005). "The Best and Worst Legislators of 2005" (subscription required). Texas Monthly. Retrieved 2006-03-12. 
  7. ^ The Texas State Senate: District 6
  8. ^ RodrIguez, Lori; Don Mason (2006-03-11). "Gallegos receiving alcoholism treatment". Houston Chronicle. p. B1. Retrieved 2006-12-26. 
  9. ^ Mack, Kristen (2007-01-12). "Gallegos tells Senate he needs new liver". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 2007-01-16. 
  10. ^ Mack, Kristen (2007-01-22). "Gallegos recovering after liver transplant surgery". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 2007-01-22. 
  11. ^ "Monkey and other business". The Economist. 2007-05-31. Retrieved 2007-07-30. 
  12. ^ Connelly, Richard. "State Senator Mario Gallegos Hospitalized In "Grave Condition"." Houston Press. Friday October 12, 2012. Retrieved October 14, 2012.
  13. ^ Holley, Joe. "Mario Gallegos, Senate champion for Hispanics, dies at 62." Houston Chronicle. Tuesday October 16, 2012. Retrieved on October 18, 2012.
  14. ^ "2004 General Election". Office of the Secretary of State (Texas). Retrieved 2006-03-13. 
  15. ^ "2004 Democratic Party Primary Election". Office of the Secretary of State (Texas). Retrieved 2006-03-13. 
  16. ^ "2002 General Election". Office of the Secretary of State (Texas). Retrieved 2006-03-13. 
  17. ^ "1998 General Election". Office of the Secretary of State (Texas). Retrieved 2006-03-13. 
  18. ^ "1994 General Election". Office of the Secretary of State (Texas). Retrieved 2006-03-13. 
  19. ^ "1994 Democratic Party Primary Runoff Election". Office of the Secretary of State (Texas). Retrieved 2006-03-13. 
  20. ^ "1994 Democratic Party Primary Election". Office of the Secretary of State (Texas). Retrieved 2006-03-13. 
  21. ^ "1992 General Election". Office of the Secretary of State (Texas). Retrieved 2006-03-13. 
  22. ^ "1992 Democratic Party Primary Election". Office of the Secretary of State (Texas). Retrieved 2006-03-13. 

External links[edit]

Texas House of Representatives
Preceded by
Albert Luna, III
Member of the Texas House of Representatives
from District 143 (Houston)

1991–1995
Succeeded by
Gerard Torres
Texas Senate
Preceded by
Dan Shelley
Texas State Senator
from District 6 (Houston)(1)

1995–2012
Succeeded by
Sylvia Garcia
Preceded by
Royce West
President pro tempore of the Texas Senate
January 9, 2007– October 13, 2012
Succeeded by
Leticia Van de Putte
Notes and references
1. For the 74th through the 77th, Gallegos’ home city was Galena Park