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Dead State Senator Re-Elected in Texas

HOUSTON (CN) - Texans re-elected a dead state senator Tuesday, setting up a special election to determine who will replace him.

State Sen. Mario Gallegos Jr., the first Latino elected to the Texas Senate from Houston, died in October from liver disease. He was 63.

He beat his Republican opponent, R.W. Bray, by more than 55,000 votes.

Gallegos got 93,136 votes, or 71 percent, to Bray's 38,144, or 29 percent, according to the local NBC news affiliate.

Gallegos served in the Texas House from 1991 to 1994, and in the Senate from 1995 until he died.

Gallegos died less than 74 days before the election, so under Texas law, his name stayed on the ballot.

Gallegos represented District 6, which includes part of Harris County.

Gov. Rick Perry will declare the seat vacant, and call for a special election to be held within 45 days, on a Tuesday or Saturday.

Gallegos began his career in the Legislature after working for the Houston Fire Department for 22 years.

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