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Government/Politics

Texas GOP Files FBI Complaint Against Democratic Senate District 19 Candidate Gallego

State Rep. Pete Gallego, D-Alpine
Ryan Loyd
/
Texas Public Radio
State Rep. Pete Gallego, D-Alpine, answers questions in English with reporters following an all-Spanish debate. Gallego and Congressman Francisco Canseco are vying for Texas District 23, which runs from El Paso to San Antonio.

Pete Gallego, a Democratic candidate for Texas Senate District 19, faces a new challenge to his candidacy — and this one involves the FBI.

The Republican Party of Texas said Gallego resides in Austin and does not live within District 19, which runs through parts of San Antonio and stretches into West Texas.   

 

Austin lawyer Trey Trainor said after consulting with the U.S. attorney for the Western District of Texas, the state party filed a complaint against Gallego with the FBI.

 

Trainor said the complaint asks the agency to look into whether Gallego falsified information on a federal loan for a home he and his wife own in Austin.

 

“He received a loan on it in both 2000 and then again in 2009, both times saying that it would be where he would reside. And he’s told the secretary of state he resides in Alpine,” Trainor said.

 

The West Texas city of Alpine is within District 19.  

 

Gallego served as a U.S. congressman for Congressional District 23 and as a state representative for House District 74, both of which overlap the same area of the state covered by Senate District 19.  

 

Gallego said this is not the first time Republicans tried to keep him out of the race.

 

Earlier this month, a state district judge in Travis County denied the Republican Party’s request that would’ve temporarily kept Gallego’s name off the ballot.

 

“They lost at the courthouse and they lost at the secretary of state’s office, and now they are looking for another venue, and I think desperation does terrible things to people,” Gallego said.

 

Early voting for the special election between Gallego and his Republican opponent Pete Flores begins Sept. 10.

 

The winner in that election will fill the seat once held by Carlos Uresti, who now faces 12 years in prison after a jury found him guilty of 11 felonies earlier this year.    The term ends in 2020.

 

Ryan Poppe can be reached at rpoppe@tpr.org or on Twitter @RyanPoppe1