By GAIGE DAVILA
In a field just north of Alton Gloor Boulevard and Highway 77, Texas state senator Eddie Lucio, Jr., announced his 2020 campaign for reelection during a “Super Pachanga” party, similar to the festival Lucio threw in 1990 for his first Texas senate campaign.
Lucio adopted a light tone for the announcement, talking about the first “Super Pachanga,” encouraging people to enjoy the party, and holding a moment of silence for victims of Hurricane Dorian, which devastated the Bahamas last week. Lucio did not talk about his campaign platform for 2020.
“I’m not going to talk about issues today,” Senator Lucio said. “I’m going to talk about those issues during the course of the campaign.” Lucio continued by saying that more opportunities in higher education, healthcare, housing and infrastructure have made south Texas better off than it was in the late 1980s and 1990, while he was a Texas House of Representatives member.
Lucio has been state senator for District 27, which covers Cameron, Kenedy, Kleberg and Willacy counties and a part of Hidalgo county, since 1991. His son, Eddie Lucio, III., Texas house representative for District 38 (parts of Cameron County) since 2006, endorsed his father on stage to a crowd of a few hundred people, saying he’s the first public official to do so.
“There is work left to do,” Representative Lucio said. “This next legislative session is one of the most important ever, because it will determine the district lines for the people that represent you in south Texas.” Senator Lucio has two challengers for his seat this election: Ruben Cortez, a three-term board member of the Texas State Board of Education; and Sara Stapleton-Barrera, a personal injury and criminal defense lawyer based with a San Benito-based practice.
In a press release sent to the PRESS, Cortez said Senator Lucio has consistently voted against the interests of south Texas, due to Lucio’s “various political positions and alignment with Trumpist members of the Texas Republican Party and the Tea Party.
“I’ve witnessed our senator—elected by us—consistently break his promise to carry forward our Democratic Party values,” Cortez said in the press release.
Senator Lucio is a registered Democrat, but has sided with Texas Republican-backed bills, such as an anti-abortion bill that was struck down as unconstitutional by the United States Supreme Court, and Texas Liteutenant Governor Dan Patrick’s infamous “bathroom bill,” which sought to prevent transgender Texans from using bathrooms that corresponded with their gender identities.
Stapleton-Barrera, in a statement sent to the PRESS, said her campaign will focus on “fighting climate change, making our government more interactive with the people and with cutting wasteful programs so that we can reinvest in education.
“I feel that people are ready for change,” Stapleton-Barrera said. “While I respect the old ways, the old ways are what make us fall behind.” If elected, Stapleton-Barrera would be the first woman elected to District 27.
The primary election for the Texa State senate is scheduled for March 3, 2020. The Texas Senate general election will be on November 3, 2020.