Campaign links: Pete Gallego (D-TX-23)
Pete P. Gallego
Pete Gallego Congressional Candidate Texas District 23
Biography of Pete Gallego from Friends of Pete Gallego
The son of a World War II veteran and state employee, Pete was born in the West Texas town of Alpine. He attended local public schools and worked in his family`s restaurant where he learned the value of a hard day`s work. Pete graduated from his hometown college, Sul Ross State University, in two years while balancing three jobs. After graduating, Pete went on to earn a degree from The University of Texas School of Law. He became an assistant attorney general before returning home to serve as a felony prosecutor.
At just 28 years old, Pete`s neighbors elected him State Representative, and sent him to Austin to fight for them. During his career in Austin, Pete led the 43 members of the Mexican American Legislative Caucus and chaired numerous legislative committees. Pete crafted and helped pass legislation investing billions of dollars in public schools. He’s worked to secure our border, reform our criminal justice system and support Texas veterans.
Since he was first elected in 1990, Pete Gallego has earned a reputation for reaching across the aisle to solve problems. Pete has worked with both Democrats and Republicans to safeguard funding for priorities that make people’s lives’ better – whether by building schools and roads, protecting water quality or creating jobs. An example of his bipartisan ways was in 2009 when Pete authored House Bill 806, a measure that would ensure insurance companies paid to replace the prosthesis of the children who had outgrown their current device. Prior to this legislation insurance companies were only responsible for providing one prosthetic device during the child’s lifetime. As children grew so did the cost associated with maintaining an adequate device that would allow the child to live a full and happy life. Pete worked with Democrats and Republicans alike to ensure Texans with disabilities have access to cutting edge technology.
Biography of Pete Gallego from Texas House of Representatives
Pete P. Gallego, 49, is a member of the Texas House of Representatives from District 74, which includes Brewster, Culberson, Edwards, Hudspeth, Jeff Davis, Loving, Pecos, Presidio, Reeves, Terrell, Uvalde, Val Verde, and Ward counties. The 74th House district is the largest House district and the largest Texas U.S.-Mexico border district stretching nearly 39,000 square miles and containing over half of the Texas/Mexico border.
Elected in 1990, Representative Gallego is the first Hispanic to represent this vast border district. In 1991, he became the first freshman member and the first ethnic minority member ever elected as chair of the House Democratic Caucus, a post he held until January of 2001. In January of 2001, Representative Gallego was unanimously elected by his colleagues to serve as chair of the Mexican-American Legislative Caucus (MALC), a group of 43 House members who are of Mexican-American descent or who serve a significant Mexican-American constituency. Representative Gallego served as MALC Chair for 8 years, recently handing over the Chairmanship to another Hispanic Democrat. He was also a founding member of the Board of Hispanic Caucus Chairs (BHCC) – serving as its first chair. During his tenure, Rep. Gallego played an active role in organizing Latino legislative caucus chairs across the country for the first time.
Now in his eleventh term, Representative Gallego is Chair of the Committee of Criminal Jurisprudence and serves as a member of the Committees on General Investigating and State Affairs. His career has included chairmanships of the General Investigating Committee and several select and subcommittees. He has also served as a member of the Sunset Commission and the Committees on Appropriations, Calendars, Criminal Jurisprudence, Higher Education, Elections, Government Reform, and Natural Resources.
An Alpine native, Gallego graduated from Sul Ross State University (SRSU) in 1982 with a bachelor’s degree in political science. In 1985, he earned a Doctor of Jurisprudence from The University of Texas School of Law. Representative Gallego is a member of the Sul Ross State University Hall of Fame as an outstanding booster, and has been named a Distinguished Alumnus by the SRSU Ex-Student Association.
In the Legislature, Representative Gallego is an expert in appropriations, law enforcement, criminal justice, campaign finance and victims’ rights. He served on the joint House/Senate conference committee on the state budget for five consecutive sessions from 1993 to 2001 and has received numerous awards, including the Advocate for Justice award from a coalition of Texas victims’ groups and the Star of Texas public service award by Common Cause of Texas. Following the 1999 session, he was selected as one of Texas Monthly’s Ten Best legislators. Most recently, Representative Gallego received the prestigious OHTLI Award from the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs for his contributions to the betterment of the Mexican community in Texas.
A supporter of both public and higher education, Representative Gallego was honored by the Eagle Pass Independent School District in 2000 with the naming and dedication of the Pete Gallego Elementary School. He has also been honored by the Texas State University System, The University of Texas System, and the Independent Colleges and Universities of Texas in appreciation for his support of higher education.
The National Council of State Governments awarded Representative Gallego a prestigious Henry Toll Fellowship, recognizing him as one of the outstanding young leaders in the nation. He also serves on the Board of Directors to the Texas Access to Justice Foundation and to the Board of Directors of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO). Representative Gallego is also a past chair of the Texas Lyceum Association, an organization comprised of individuals under the age of 45 who have demonstrated leadership abilities throughout the State.
Representative Gallego still lives in Alpine, where he was born and raised. He is currently of counsel to the law firm of Brown McCarroll, LLP, which has offices in Austin, El Paso, Houston, Dallas, and Alpine. In addition, he and his wife own several properties, including the property where the Alpine Guest Lofts are located. The Lofts are operated separately as a small boutique inn by Carla McFarland, formerly the long-time owner of Alpine’s historic Holland Hotel.