From the Office of State Senator Leticia Van de Putte

For Immediate Release
October 16, 2012
Contact: Lee Nichols, 512-463-0126

Senator Van de Putte Mourns Passing of Senator Gallegos

(Austin) — This afternoon, Senator Mario Gallegos of Houston passed away. Senator Leticia Van de Putte (District 26, San Antonio/Bexar County) issues the following statement:

"I am profoundly grief-stricken at the passing of my friend and colleague, Senator Mario Gallegos. This is truly a tragic day for Houston, the Senate, and Texas.

"Above all else, Mario Gallegos was a man of matchless generosity who worked tirelessly for his district. What he did for the people of Houston ran even deeper than what could be seen at the Capitol. I've never known anyone who fought harder for the underdog — for the most vulnerable in our state. He knew every inch of his district, and his constituents saw that. There's a reason the voters of Houston kept returning him to the Senate election after election. They knew that when their needs were on the line in Austin, Mario would be their champion.

"We came into the Legislature in the same year, 1991. Since that time, we shared legislative victories and defeats. But even more importantly, we also shared baptisms, graduations, and weddings as our families became friends. He adored his family.

"They broke the mold with Mario. He was a character who lived life to the fullest — whether he was having fun or working for his constituents, he did everything to the max. He took on the big battles, no matter the risk, and he didn't care whose feathers he was rustling. He fought to the end and even tried to cheat death.

"I feel very privileged to have been there with Mario at the end. Mario Gallegos leaves some very big shoes to fill, and a hole in our hearts."