An honored colleague: Sen. Rodríguez statement on passing of Sen. Gallegos
El Paso – Sen. Mario Gallegos, who passed away in a Houston hospital today at age 62, was a role model and mentor. Sen. Gallegos was elected to the Texas Senate in 1994, and prior to that served two terms in the Texas House. He was a firefighter for 22 years with the Houston fire Department, where he retired as a captain.
He fought for his community and for communities across the state to access education, health care and jobs. He also refused to allow Texas to regress towards the discrimination of its past, and always stood with those of us who seek to progress toward the New Texas of access and opportunity for all of its citizens.
He proved that, unforgettably, in 2007, when just a few weeks after a liver transplant he set up outside the Senate Chambers in a hospital bed, knowing his vote was crucial to block a Voter ID bill. He did, and it took four years to pass the unconstitutional law, which the courts ended up striking down. If they would just have listened to Sen. Gallegos, and responded to his remarkable courage, they could have saved the state time, energy and money.
We have lost a champion, and he will be long remembered.