Sen. Mario Gallegos a Hero for Voting Rights in Texas
AUSTIN – Late Wednesday night, Texas’ voter ID bill H.B. 218 was defeated in the Senate by the 11 Democrats who banded together, with the help of ailing Sen. Mario Gallegos, to prevent the bill from getting to the floor. Against the advice of doctors and despite signs that his body was rejecting a liver transplant he received in January, Sen. Mario Gallegos traveled to the statehouse and remained in a hospital bed outside the senate chambers for more than 48 hours to block a voter ID bill moving in the Texas Senate.
“A hero for voting rights and a true defender of democracy, Texas State Senator Mario Gallegos went above and beyond the call of duty to protect Texans’ voting rights this session,” said Joy Authur of People For the American Way’s Texas Office. “We admire his steadfast support for the right to vote for all Texans.”
The bill, H.B. 218, was approved in the House earlier this session, and needed two-thirds of the Senate’s 31 members to vote to bring the bill to the floor. Gallegos held the decisive vote to block the legislation. Gallegos departed the Senate Wednesday night to a standing ovation from colleagues.
“I’ll be back,” Gallegos told colleagues in the Senate chamber. “If you want to fight this fight again, I will again, but as a healthier Mario Gallegos.”
“If this and other voter suppression bills return to Texas, People For the American Way will stand proudly with Senator Gallegos to fight such grave injustice,” said Authur.