Houston State Senator Dies from Liver Disease

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AUSTIN, Texas -- State Sen. Mario Gallegos Jr., a long serving Texas lawmaker, has died in a Houston hospital from liver disease. He was 62.

Gallegos' political consultant, Harold Cook, released a statement Tuesday saying Gallegos had passed away surrounded by his family.

The staunch Democrat had represented Senate District 6 in Harris County since 1995. He had served in the Texas House for four years before that. He'd developed a reputation for toughness in 2007 when he showed up in the Senate chamber shortly after a liver transplant to vote against a voter ID law.

Gallegos was running against Republican R.W. Bray in the November general election. It's too late to remove his name from the ballot. If Gallegos wins in November the governor will need to schedule a special election.