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Mario Gallegos

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Mario Gallegos

Mario Gallegos, Jr.
Gallegos in 2012
Member of the Texas Senate
from the 6th district
In office
Preceded by Dan Shelley
Succeeded by Sylvia Garcia
Member of the Texas House of Representatives
from the 143rd district
In office
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 University 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. Gallegos is a Mexican American.[2]

Political career

Gallegos, who originated from the Magnolia Park community of Houston,[3] was a long-time firefighter with the Houston Fire Department[4] and retired as a Senior Captain after 22 years of service.[4] 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.

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.[5]

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,[6] 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.[7] Nevertheless, Gallegos was sworn in as Governor for one day on May 5, 2007, in a Texas tradition honoring the Senate President Pro Term.[8]

Personal life

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.[9] On January 11, 2007, Gallegos announced that he was suffering from cirrhosis of the liver, and would require a liver transplant,[10] 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.[11]

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.[12]

In October 2012 Gallegos was hospitalized and later died.[13][14]

Election History

Most recent election


Texas general election, 2004: Senate District 6[15]
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[16]
Candidate Votes % ±%
Mario V. Gallegos, Jr. 6,484 53.92
Yolanda Navarro Flores 5,541 46.07
Turnout 12,025

Previous elections


Texas general election, 2002: Senate District 6[17]
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


Texas general election, 1998: Senate District 6[18]
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


Texas general election, 1994: Senate District 6[19]
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[20]
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[21]
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


Texas general election, 1992: House District 143[22]
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[23]
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


External links

  • Senate of Texas - Senator Mario Gallegos, Jr. official TX Senate website
  • Project Vote Smart - Senator Mario V. Gallegos Jr (TX) profile
  • Follow the Money - Mario Gallegos Jr
    • 1998 campaign contributions
  • Find A Grave Memorial - Mario Valentin Gallegos, Jr
Preceded by
Albert Luna, III
Member of the Texas House of Representatives
from District 143 (Houston)

Succeeded by
Gerard Torres
Preceded by
Dan Shelley
Texas State Senator
from District 6 (Houston)
Succeeded by
Sylvia Garcia
Political offices
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

Template:Current Texas Senators

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