AUSTIN (AP) — State Sen. Mario Gallegos Jr., who brought a hospital bed to the Capitol in case his vote was needed as he recovered from a liver transplant in 2007, died Tuesday in a Houston hospital. He was 62.
Gallegos' political consultant, Harold Cook, released a statement Tuesday saying Gallegos had passed away surrounded by his family.
"Senator Mario V. Gallegos, resting comfortably at Houston's Methodist Hospital and surrounded by family members and close friends, passed away this afternoon, following complications associated with his liver transplant performed in 2007," the statement said.
The staunch Democrat and retired firefighter had represented Senate District 6 in Harris County since 1995. He had served in the Texas House for four years before that. He'd developed a reputation for toughness in 2007 when he showed up in the Senate chamber shortly after a liver transplant to vote against a Republican-backed voter ID law.
Gallegos was running against Republican R.W. Bray in the November general election. It's too late to remove his name from the ballot. If Gallegos wins in November the governor will need to schedule a special election.
No funeral arrangements were announced. But Gov. Rick Perry ordered flags at state property be flown at half staff through Friday. His Gallegos' Senate district, flags will remain lowered until the funeral services have ended.
"Whether serving as a firefighter, championing his beloved University of Houston or representing the interests of his constituents in the Texas Legislature, Sen. Gallegos led a life of serving the public," Perry said in a statement. "Anita and I send our condolences and prayers to his family and friends during this difficult time."
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Late Saturday night into early Sunday morning, a light band of freezing drizzle traversed the I-35 corridor eastward. With sub-freezing temperatures, even the light precipitation created major problems.
A 10-year-old was killed while standing outside a vehicle after the child's family was involved in a fender bender, DPS said.
Austin Police are looking for a missing woman.
APD is responding to a 25 vehicle accident near the 5400 block of Ed Bluestein near Thurgood Ave.
A man is dead after being hit by several vehicles in the eastbound lane of Highway 71 Saturday night.
A representative at the Fayette County Sheriff's office said that Fayette County is effectively shut down due to icy conditions.