Pete Gallego

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Pete Gallego
Pete Gallego official portrait.jpg
Member of the
U.S. House of Representatives
from Texas's 23rd district
In office
January 3, 2013 – January 3, 2015
Preceded byQuico Canseco
Succeeded byWill Hurd
Member of the
Texas House of Representatives
In office
January 8, 1991 – January 3, 2013
Preceded byDudley Harrison
Succeeded byPoncho Nevárez
Constituency74th district (1993-2013)
68th district (1991-1993)
Personal details
Pete Peña Gallego

(1961-12-02) December 2, 1961 (age 57)
Alpine, Texas, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Maria Elena Ramon
ResidenceAlpine, Texas
Alma materSul Ross State University
University of Texas at Austin

Pete Peña Gallego (born December 2, 1961) is an American politician who was most recently a candidate in the July 2018 special election for the Texas Senate district 19 seat to replace Carlos Uresti, convicted of fraud and money laundering.[1][2] Gallego was the U.S. Representative for Texas's 23rd congressional district from 2013 to 2015. Gallego, a member of the Democratic Party, previously served as a member of the Texas House of Representatives from the 74th district beginning in 1991.

Gallego defeated freshman incumbent Quico Canseco of San Antonio for Texas's 23rd congressional district seat in the November 6, 2012, general election. Canseco conceded the race on November 9.[3] Gallego ran for re-election in 2014, in what the Texas Tribune called the "only obviously competitive November congressional race" in Texas.[4] He was defeated by challenger Will Hurd on November 4, 2014. In 2016 he ran for Congress once more in the 23rd district, losing to Hurd a second time.[5] On September 18, 2018, he was defeated by Pete Flores in the special election to fill the Texas State Senate District 19 by 53% to 47%.[6][7]

Early career[edit]

After graduating from law school, Gallego became an assistant in the office of the state attorney general, before he returned to his hometown of Alpine to become a prosecutor. He was also an attorney at the law firm Brown McCarroll LLP, with an office in Austin.[8][9]

State legislature[edit]

Elected to the Texas House from District 74 in 1990, Gallego was the first Hispanic to represent this vast border district. In 1991, he became the first freshman member and the first ethnic minority member ever elected as chair of the House Democratic Caucus, a post he held until January 2001.[8]

In the Texas House, Gallego served on the board of directors of the National Association of Latino Elected Officials (NALEO), and four terms as Chairman of the Mexican American Legislative Caucus (MALC), a caucus of Texas representatives who are of Mexican-American descent or who serve a significant Mexican-American constituency. In 2008, Trey Martinez Fischer replaced Gallego as Chairman of MALC.[8][10]

Gallego's state legislative career included chairmanships of the General Investigating Committee and several select and subcommittees.[citation needed] He has also served as a member of the Committees on Appropriations, Calendars, Criminal Jurisprudence, Higher Education, and Elections.[citation needed]

In 2008, Gallego narrowly missed being elected Speaker of the Texas House.[11]

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]



Gallego announced his candidacy for the 23rd district in September 2011.[12] His state house district was virtually coextensive with the central portion of the congressional district; indeed, he had represented almost all of the central portion of the congressional district at one time or another during his two decades in the state legislature.

He finished second in the Democratic primary, behind former congressman Ciro Rodriguez, who had received Bill Clinton's endorsement. He then defeated Rodriguez in the July 31 runoff election by a margin of 55-45 percent.[13][14] During the course of his campaign, Gallego overhauled his campaign staff four times.[15]

In the general election, Gallego defeated Canseco with 50 percent of the vote to Canseco's 46 percent, a margin of 9,200 votes. While Gallego lost in Bexar County, home to more than half the district's population, he dominated his former state house district. The campaign between Gallego and Canseco was contentious, with Gallego alleging that Canseco was a "right-wing extremist," and Canseco calling Gallego a "radical environmentalist."[15][16]

Gallego was supported by the Blue Dog Coalition.[17][18]


Gallego ran for re-election in 2014. Facing no opposition from his own party, he won the Democratic primary on March 4, 2014.[19][20] He faced Republican Will Hurd, an African American, in the general election.[21] Gallego was a member of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's Frontline Program. The program is designed to help protect vulnerable Democratic incumbents. He lost his bid for re-election to Republican Will Hurd by less than 2,500 votes.[22]


Gallego, meanwhile, is testing the waters as a potential 2018 candidate once more against Hurd. Reapportionment of the district could play a major role as to whether Gallego decides to enter the race. At least two other Democrats may also run for their party nomination, Judith Canales, a former officer of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development from Eagle Pass, and Jay Hulings, a graduate of Harvard Law School and an assistant U.S. attorney in San Antonio.[23]

Committee assignments[edit]

Texas State Senate[edit]

Gallego was a candidate in the July 2018 special election for the Texas Senate district 19 seat to replace Carlos Uresti, convicted of fraud and money laundering. He faced State Representatives Roland Gutierrez and Tomas Uresti and candidate for this seat in 2016, Peter Flores. On July 31, neither Gallego and Flores reached 50% of the vote. A run-off was held on September 18, where Gallego lost to Flores.

Political positions[edit]


Gallego opposes repeal of the Affordable Care Act and voted against repeal in May 2013.[24][25][26] Gallego's support for the Affordable Care Act has been attacked in advertisements by the Libre Initiative, a conservative Hispanic outreach group.[27][28]

Gallego opposes a Medicare voucher system[29] and says that he supports Medicaid expansion and prescription drug negotiations.[30]


Gallego supported an abortion law allowing minors to get an abortion with parental consent. Under the legislation a minor would have been able to bypass the requirement for parental consent by petitioning a judge.[9][31]


Gallego has said that border security and immigration reform are two separate issues. He advocates improved "worker accountability programs, using border security as an economic tool and aiding the current 11 million undocumented individuals in a path to citizenship", writing with several others in an opinion piece in the El Paso Times that, "We can no longer delay immigration reform. The time to move forward is now." Gallego has said "Most people don't really care where the idea comes from. They want action, they want something to happen, and they're tired of the prolonged conversation." Gallego has expressed support for President Obama's immigration policies. He supports the DREAM Act.[32][33]

In 2014, Gallego invited Speaker of the House John Boehner to the Southern Border to view the humanitarian crisis and discuss the matter with local border patrol agents and community members.[34]


Gallego has been supported by the Sierra Club and the League of Conservation Voters.[35] According to Texas Climate News, Gallego's 2012 congressional victory "earned the celebratory attention of climate-action advocates."[36] Gallego has voiced support for renewable and clean energy sources. The Sierra Club called Gallego a "clean energy champion."[37] Mother Jones included Gallego in a list of the "Top Five Climate Hawks" who were elected to office in November 2012.[38]

Personal life[edit]

Born in Alpine, Gallego graduated from Sul Ross State University in 1982 with a bachelor's degree in political science. In 1985, he earned a J.D. from the University of Texas School of Law in Austin.[8]

In 2012, Gallego began drawing pension benefits from the state of Texas in addition to his annual congressional salary of $174,000.[39][40][41]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Texas Secretary of State Candidates for State Senator, District 19 Special Election
  2. ^ Platoff, Emma (March 28, 2018). "Former congressman Pete Gallego forms campaign to replace Texas state Sen. Carlos Uresti". Texas Tribune.
  3. ^ Martin, Gary (November 9, 2012). "Canseco concedes to Gallego in District 23". San Antonio Express-News. Retrieved 22 May 2014.
  4. ^ Ramsey, Ross (April 30, 2014). "Analysis: Down the Ballot, Few Races in November". Texas Tribune. Retrieved 22 May 2014.
  5. ^ "Hurd wins re-election in U.S. 23rd Congressional District race". KSAT. San Antonio. November 9, 2016.
  6. ^ McGuinness, Dylan. Flores defeats Gallego in Senate District 19, San Antonio Express-News, September 19, 2018.
  7. ^ Svitek, Patrick. Republican Pete Flores upsets Democrat Pete Gallego in race for Uresti seat, Texas Tribune, September 18, 2018.
  8. ^ a b c d "Pete Gallego (D)". Election 2012. Wall Street Journal.
  9. ^ a b McClane, Brianna (November 1, 2012). "Texas, 23rd House District". National Journal. Retrieved 19 August 2014.
  10. ^ Glazer, Matt (December 9, 2008). "Mexican American Legislative Caucus (MALC) Elects New Leadership". Burnt Orange Report. Retrieved 22 May 2014.
  11. ^ Marty Schladen. US Rep. Pete Gallego wants to help fix Congress. El Paso Times, October 21, 2013.
  12. ^ Perry, Mike. Gallego makes it official: He's running for U.S. Congress. Alpine Daily Planet, September 1, 2011.
  13. ^ 2012 Democratic Party Primary Runoff July 31, 2012 Archived November 8, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ Martin, Gary (August 1, 2012). "Gallego beats Rodriguez to challenge Canseco in the fall". MySanAntonio. Retrieved 19 August 2014.
  15. ^ a b Martin, Gary (August 16, 2012). "Pete Gallego overhauls congressional campaign a fourth time". San Antonio Express-News. Retrieved 22 May 2014.
  16. ^ Martin, Gary (August 1, 2012). "Gallego starts swinging at Canseco in 23rd congressional race". San Antonio News-Express. Retrieved 22 May 2014.
  17. ^ Trujillo, Mario (November 25, 2012). "Blue Dog Democrats fight for relevance". The Hill. Retrieved 22 May 2014.
  18. ^ Beard, Sterling (April 22, 2013). "Rep. Gallego enjoys rare status as a new Texas Democrat in the House". The Hill. Retrieved 19 August 2014.
  19. ^ "Pete P. Gallego's Political Summary". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved 22 May 2014.
  20. ^ Grissom, Brandi (March 4, 2014). "Liveblog: 2014 Primary Election". Texas Tribune. Retrieved 19 August 2014.
  21. ^ Delreal, Jose (May 27, 2014). "Will Hurd wins TX-23 rematch against Francisco "Quico" Canseco". Politico. Retrieved 19 August 2014.
  22. ^ Isenstadt, Alex (March 4, 2013). "Democrats launching plan for 2014 at-risk members". Politico. Retrieved 22 May 2014.
  23. ^ Gilbert Garcia, "Gallego inches toward third run at Congressman Hurd," San Antonio Express-News, July 9, 2017, p. A2.
  24. ^ "Gallego on Obamacare, Iran and Taxes". YouTube. Retrieved November 3, 2013.
  25. ^ "Final Vote Results for Roll Call 154". Retrieved November 3, 2013.
  26. ^ Garcia, Gilbert (October 29, 2013). "Gallego's no-win situation on health care law". San Antonio Express-News. Retrieved 19 August 2014.
  27. ^ Schladen, Marty (February 9, 2014). "Libre Initiative targets Obama's Affordable Care Act". El Paso Times. Retrieved 22 May 2014.
  28. ^ Pabst, Georgia (February 23, 2014). "Libre Initiative reaches out to Hispanics with free-enterprise message". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved 22 May 2014.
  29. ^ Hennessy-Fiske, Molly (September 26, 2014). "Texas congressional candidates debate -- in Spanish". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 19 August 2014.
  30. ^ "Issues: Medicare". Campaign Website. Pete Gallego. Retrieved 22 May 2014.
  31. ^ Root, Jay (October 16, 2012). "Gallego: Jesus Would Not Like Political Mailer". Texas Tribune. Retrieved 22 May 2014.
  32. ^ Sullivan, Alison (February 19, 2013). "Pete Gallego: People want action on immigration reform, not prolonged debate". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 22 May 2014.
  33. ^ Borunda, Daniel (February 2, 2013). "State of the Union: Beto O'Rourke, Pete Gallego cheer immigration reform push". El Paso Times. Retrieved 22 May 2014.
  34. ^ Dumain, Emma. "Freshman Democrat Invites Speaker to Southwest Border". Roll Call. Retrieved 7 August 2014.
  35. ^ Colman, Zack (November 7, 2012). "Green groups tout election results as victory for clean energy". The Hill. Retrieved 22 May 2014.
  36. ^ Dawson, Bill (November 24, 2011). "Sandy + election results = re-energized talk of action against climate change". Texas Climate News. Retrieved 22 May 2014.
  37. ^ "Impact of the 2012 Elections". Sierra Club. Retrieved 22 May 2014.
  38. ^ Sheppard, Katie (November 8, 2012). "5 Climate Hawks Who Won on Tuesday". Mother Jones. Retrieved 22 May 2014.
  39. ^ "Pension Rules to Benefit 10 in Congressional Delegation". Texas Tribune. July 9, 2013. Retrieved 22 May 2014.
  40. ^ "U.S. Rep. Pete Gallego (D)". Ethics Explorer. Texas Tribune. Retrieved 22 May 2014.
  41. ^ "Pension Rules to Benefit 10 in Congressional Delegation". KETK-NBC. July 9, 2013. Retrieved 19 August 2014.

External links[edit]

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Quico Canseco
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Texas's 23rd congressional district

January 3, 2013 - January 3, 2015
Succeeded by
Will Hurd