Texans say goodbye to late Sen. Mario Gallegos

Gallegos' funeral arrangements announced

AUSTIN, Texas - Texans gathered at the capitol Friday to say goodbye to Harris County's first Hispanic state senator.

Mario Gallegos Jr. died Tuesday from complications associated with a 2007 liver transplant.

In his last years in the senate, Mario Gallegos argued loud and long for issue like civil rights and gun control and even brought his hospital bed to the senate in 2007 to stop a voter identification bill.

"He fought for the community, and that's how I think he'll always be remembered," said Carlos Cabillio, a Gallegos supporter.

When it was personal, Gallegos made friends on both sides of the aisle, including Gov. Rick Perry when he presided over the senate as lieutenant governor.

"He spent some times, seemingly hours, railing against your piece of legislation, but if you called him 10 minutes later with a legit need, the response was, 'What can I do to help you?'" Perry said.

Gallegos' good friend and colleague, Sen. John Whitmire, a Democrat, said Gallegos is in a better place now.

"He's in a place where he's not in pain, he can talk as long as he wants to, and there's no voter ID," Whitmire said.

A visitation will be held at the University of Houston's Cullen Performance Hall, 4800 Calhoun, at 4 p.m. Sunday. A rosary will follow at 6:30 p.m.

Gallegos' funeral will be held at Sacred Heart Co-Cathedral, 1701 San Jacinto, at 9:30 a.m. on Monday.

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