SOUTHEAST HOUSTON, TX – It’s got to be a major blow to your ego when you lose an election to a guy who’s died, but that’s exactly what happened to Republican candidate R.W. Bray.
The self-proclaimed “agitator” came to Houston as a Katrina evacuee. He ran for the District 6 State Senate seat against Democrat Mario Gallegos. Bray lost in a landslide, 29% to 71%.
“Ultimately,” he said, “I think I was beat by a legend. If I were running against a man, I think that we would have seen a different result.”
Gallegos’ family and friends gathered Tuesday at his sister Lillian’s home to celebrate his life and wait for the results. There were cheers, hugs and tears, but the win really came as no surprise.
“I’m proud of him. I’m proud of my dad,” said his son Mario Gallegos, III. “He never lost a race ever since he started campaigning back in the early ’90s.”
Senator Gallegos had held the seat in Austin since 1995. When he died last month after his liver transplant gave out, it was too late to replace him on the ballot.
“The fact that he just passed away last month,” said his nephew Adrian Trevino, “and the people in his district still go out and support him, shows the great job that he does.”
His widow Theresa agreed, “This outpouring of love and support that he has reached today– he has reached a level that I don’t think he ever envisioned.”
Now it’s up to Governor Perry to call a special election to replace the much beloved senator. Bray says he will be back in the race, but Mario, as he was dying, made it clear who he’d like to see win it.
“He spoke to me of his support,” said wife Theresa, “of his endorsement for Carol Alvarado, state representative, and so that’s who we are all going to work for. Not only are we going to endorse, but we are also going to work hard for her.”
“We were not just colleagues– friends, allies and like family,” said Alvarado. “The Gallegos family is very much a part of my family.”
And with that family backing you, it’s hard to lose!