Pete Gallego, former Democratic State Rep. for Far West Texas, now polls slightly ahead of freshman Republican US Congressman Quico Canseco. They conducted their first debate entirely in Spanish in San Antonio on Tuesday, and left Gallego feeling pretty good about it. He wants more debates. This is a great Red to Blue prospect for Democrats.
Pete Gallego has been an anomaly in conservative West Texas, as a progressive Democrat who has been re-elected to the State House since 1990. He's just generally well-liked, but in a tight race with a narrow lead for the first time against incumbent freshman "Quico" Canseco, who is a Tea Party Republican elected in the 2010 House takeover. It's a crazy district stretching hundreds of miles from San Antonio (south central Texas) to east El Paso County (Far West Texas). Pete Gallego has been an anomaly as a progressive Democratic State Representative for many years in conservative Far West Texas (although Presidio County has been Democratic for many years). Well-liked by most of his constituents, Gallego left the State House last year for his bid to run for the newly drawn 23rd Congressional District. He won a hotly contested primary runoff in July and has taken everyone by surprise in his bid for the 23rd. Most people thought he had no chance because he's from Alpine, Texas, a tiny west Texas mountain community, while Canseco is more well-known and from the larger city of Laredo, and a business man in San Antonio, who won his seat as a Tea Partier. He is surprising everyone except his former constituents of Far West Texas, who genuinely like him.
His door was always open to constituents in Austin, where he had one of the few balconies in the State House and always invited his visitors to take a look.
In the Univision/AARP debate in San Antonio last Tuesday night, Gallego touted his humble roots:
“I don't come from privilege. I’m here because of the sacrifices of my father,” he said, crediting education with his own achievements.I had been thinking of moving to New Mexico until I found out that Gallego was going to run for Congress. I really want the privilege of voting for him. His is a voice we need in Washington. The more people know about him, the more they genuinely like him, which is why I think he has a great chance to win this election and why he came from behind as an unknown to his (so far) slight lead.
Gallego said he’s running for Congress “because the dream is still possible for each of our families. I want to protect our senior citizens who depend in particular on Social Security or Medicare. I want to support our veterans and strengthen the middle class.”
Then he launched into an attack on Canseco for his backing of the conservative budget plan of GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan “that does a lot of harm to our families.”
The Republicans are already funding Canseco in a big way and want to retain this seat. I want to turn it blue, and I think Pete Gallego will be a rising star in a Democratic House next year. He's one of those "clean and articulate" Democrats from humble roots that scares the wits out of Republicans.
Please help turn this seat from red to blue and help Pete win!