A large bouquet of yellow roses graced the desk of Senator Mario Gallegos yesterday as his colleagues honored him on the Senate floor. Gallegos, a Democrat who represented Houston’s Senate District 6 from 1995 until his death in October 2012, was Texas’s first Hispanic state senator, and his widow, Theresa, wiped away tears as four Senators spoke about his love for his family and his work promoting civil rights, education, and seniors.
“We’re better senators because Mario came through these halls,” Sen. John Whitmire, D-Houston, said “Mario was taken too soon. But let me just assure each and every one of you that he got all there was to get out of every day on earth.”
Sen. Eddie Lucio, Jr., D-Brownsville, recalled how Gallegos was an “engaged and zealous advocate” for his district. Gallegos was so devoted that in 2007, following a liver transplant, he disregarded his doctor’s orders and came back to work early, setting up a hospital bed in the sergeant-at-arm’s office so he could be near the chamber during the heated voter ID debate. “He shouldn’t have been there. We knew it. He knew it. But he was there,” Lucio said.
The special election to fill Gallegos’s seat will be held on January 26. SD 6 is