Sen. Lucio is headed for a runoff election with Sara Stapleton-Barrera, an attorney, working mom and Planned Parenthood supporter. For the first time in three decades, voters in the RGV have the chance to elect a true champion for their community. 

EARLY VOTING IS HAPPENING NOW UNTIL JULY 10 

ELECTION DAY: TUESDAY, JULY 14

Find your polling location here. You can easily login by entering your name, county and DOB.

Volunteer at an upcoming phonebank for Sara.

Senator Eddie Lucio, Jr. is a 30-year Democratic incumbent running in the March 3 Texas Primary to represent the Rio Grande Valley. Sen. Lucio has a solid record of voting for and supporting anti-choice, anti-LGBTQ, anti-immigrant, anti-environment, anti-worker, anti-health care, and anti-public school policies.

Sen. Lucio (Senate District 27) is a close ally of extremist politicians, including Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Gov. Greg Abbott, and consistently votes against the best interests of his constituents. It’s time for a change in the Rio Grande Valley. Read more on Sen. Lucio’s record of putting politics before his constituents here.

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It’s time for a change in the Rio Grande Valley. Sen. Lucio has a three-decade record of voting against the best interests of his constituents. We need each and every voter who cares about women’s health, LGBTQ rights and other progressive issues in Texas Senate District 27 — and across the state — to make their voices heard by voting on July 14. 

“Sucio Lucio” also refers to the senator’s questionable business with a detention facility with a documented history of filthy conditions, including overflowing toilets, insect-infested facilities and maggots in the food, as reported on by the ACLU.

Sen. Lucio consulted for Corplan in 2003 and 2004 and was key to securing an immigration detention center contract in Raymondville: “In 2005, Lucio ended his consulting work with Corplan after two Willacy County commissioners pleaded guilty to accepting cash bribes in exchange for their votes to award a contract for another Raymondville prison. Amazingly, no one was ever indicted for supplying the bribe.” 

Even after this scandal, Sen. Lucio continued his work consulting for private prison corporations after 2005, prompting new complaints that he was using his public office to pressure local officials. 

Public watchdog group Public Citizen said of Sen Lucio’s record: Lucio’s actions, while legal, are ethically questionable.”

During the 2019 legislative session, Senator Lucio voted in favor of Senate Bill 22, which prohibits local governments from partnering with Planned Parenthood on critical health care, education and outreach. SB 22 went into effect last September and ties the hands of local government at a time when cities and counties already face significant challenges in providing access to quality, affordable health care for their residents. The bill, however, coins a new political phrase – “taxpayer resource transactions” — and the full implications of the law and how exactly it will be implemented remain undetermined. 

Sen. Lucio also authored and helped pass Senate Bill 24 last year, which requires false and misleading information be given to those seeking an abortion in order to shame and coerce them from their decision. The bill was one of three anti-abortion priority bills for anti-choice extremist Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick.

In 2015, Sen. Lucio was the one Democratic vote in the Senate to further restrict access to “judicial bypass,” the legal process that allows minors to obtain court approval for an abortion if asking their parents for permission could endanger them. “The senator, who reliably supports anti-abortion measures in the chamber, said those were the easiest votes for him to cast,” according to The Texas Tribune.

In 2013, after Wendy Davis’ historic 13-hour filibuster on the Texas Senate floor in opposition to Senate Bill 5 — one of the strictest anti-abortion bills in the nation — Sen. Lucio was once again the only Democrat who broke party lines and voted in favor of the bill. As evident from his record, because Sen. Lucio often goes against his party and breaks the Democratic voting bloc, he has repeatedly been the deciding vote to allow extremely dangerous and discriminatory legislation to move forward.

Lucio’s anti-choice, anti-health care political agenda has been the most consequential for the people he claims to represent — Valley residents. A report originally published in 2014 by the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health and the Center for Reproductive Rights highlighted that more than one in three Valley residents live below the federal poverty line, an even higher percentage (38%) are uninsured and the distance to affordable health care providers makes it almost impossible to access care. As a result, the report concluded that the “Valley’s women and their families have experienced negative health outcomes, even death, due to a lack of access to reproductive health care.” 

Sen. Lucio often hides behind his faith when attacking the civil rights of his constituents. For example, during last year’s legislative session, he voted in favor of Senate Bill 17, which gave employers a “license to discriminate” against their LGBTQ employees.

During the 2017 session, Lucio voted in favor of the discriminatory Senate Bill 6, the so-called “bathroom bill,” which would require transgender people to use public bathrooms that do not match their gender identity and reverse local nondiscrimination ordinances that cover the topic. When asked to answer for his vote as the only Democratic Senator to side with all 20 Republicans, Lucio’s defense was: “I don’t believe in separation of church and state.”

Ultra-conservative Lt. Gov Dan Patrick praised Sen. Lucio for being the sole Democratic vote in favor of the discriminatory, transphobic “bathroom bill” — and called him “a man who is bold and courageous and does the right thing, always.” 

And, in 2015, Sen. Lucio joined his Republican colleagues in the Senate to pass a resolution reaffirming the state’s opposition to same-sex marriage.

Despite living in and representing border communities, Sen. Lucio’s record has been shockingly anti-immigrant. He helped build a private immigrant detention center in Raymondville which became notorious for filthy conditions and maggot-infested food. Sen. Lucio also voted in favor of spending $800 million to militarize the border in 2015. 

In 2003 and 2004, Lucio was also a paid consultant for Corplan, a for-profit prison corporation which was part of a multi-organizational effort to build a 2,000-bed immigration detention center in Raymondville, Texas, a city in Lucio’s district.

Texas Tribune:  State Sen. Eddie Lucio Jr. bets on experience, seniority as he confronts two Democratic primary challengers

“Planned Parenthood Texas Votes has been arguably the fiercest critic of the senator in the primary, assailing him as ‘Sucio Lucio,’ or ‘Dirty Lucio.’ The group has issued its first anti-endorsement of an incumbent in its seven-year history, rather than picking between the two primary challengers.

Planned Parenthood Texas Votes executive director Dyana Limon-Mercado said in an interview that both have ‘expressed 100% support for Planned Parenthood.’

‘We think either of them moving in to a potential runoff is a great situation for our supporters to be in and for Planned Parenthood patients,’ she said.
 

Read more here

RELEASE: Sen. Eddie Lucio Jr. Has 30-Year Record of Putting Extremist Politics Before Constituents

Lucio has a longtime record of anti-LGBTQ+ and anti-abortion votes

It’s time for Senator Eddie Lucio Jr. to retire

Lucio votes with extremist conservatives on issue after issue

BROWNSVILLE, TX – Texas progressive organizations release the following statements opposing state Sen. Eddie Lucio Jr. in the March Democratic Primary. 

Lucio has a well-known record of supporting discrimination against LGBTQ+ Texans, opposing women’s right to make their own reproductive health care decisions, and scheming to take money away from public schools.

  • He was the only Democrat to support Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick’s transphobic “bathroom bill” and other legislation to justify discrimination against LGBTQ+ Texans.
  • He was the only Democrat to vote for increased abortion restrictions, the same restrictions that then-Senator Wendy Davis fillibustered for 11 hours. 
  • He was the only Senate Democrat to vote for school vouchers, which take money away from public schools.

Lucio sides with Greg Abbott, Dan Patrick and Donald Trump on issue after issue. He is no progressive champion for the Rio Grande Valley. It’s time to hold him accountable.

It’s time for the voters of Senate District 27 to use their political power and vote against incumbent Senator Eddie Lucio Jr. in the March Democratic Primary. 

Deeds Action Fund UTRGV Campus Organizers, Bianca Castro and Yamilee Gonzalez: Senator Eddie Lucio has been a part of the Texas Senate for three decades, serving long before we were born. Throughout his time as a representative, he has consistently advocated for issues that actively hurt the same community he vows to represent. Time and time again, Lucio has firmly stood against women and the LGBTQ+ community by voting against abortion access and in-favor of transphobic bills that harm our communities. Furthermore, his lack of representation is seen, from not showing up to community organized events in which he confirmed his attendance, to canceling scheduled lobby days with constituents, Lucio is far from a ‘champion’ for the people of the Rio Grande Valley. 

“We, as youth of the RGV, are letting Texas know that Lucio’s time representing our people is over. For too long, ‘Sucio Lucio’ has had free rein and has not been held accountable for his actions. The Rio Grande Valley deserves fair and equal representation. Senator Lucio has proven that he is nothing but absent representation for the changing and growing people of the RGV — and instead represents his own personal interests and those in which lines his pockets.”

NARAL Pro-Choice Texas Executive Director Aimee Arrambide: “Senator Lucio has been the extremist right’s trusted anti-abortion and anti-LGBTQ+ vote for over 30 years, hurting his own community of the Rio Grande Valley the hardest in the process. Texans deserve better than someone who is more interested in advancing Dan Patrick’s harmful, bigoted agenda, than helping his community thrive. The Rio Grande Valley is a vibrant and resilient community that deserves a true progressive leader that’s not willing to compromise our values.” 

Planned Parenthood Texas Votes Rio Grande Valley Youth Organizer Aileen Garza: “Over the last 30 years, Senator Eddie Lucio Jr. has earned a reputation in the Texas Senate for doing the dirty work of extremist politicians like Dan Patrick and Greg Abbott – whether it’s attacking immigrant communities, LGBTQ+ communities or women’s health and reproductive rights. The Rio Grande Valley deserves a true champion, which is why I am working every single day to organize in my community with young people and queer folks to chart a better future for all of us.” 

Progress Texas Communications Manager Tara Pohlmeyer: “Senator Lucio has worked to keep himself in power for longer than many young RGV voters have been alive. The 2020 Democratic primary is the first serious primary challenge Lucio has faced in years, and it’s an opportunity for progressive residents in the Valley to demonstrate their growing political power. As someone who grew up in the Valley, I’m ready to see residents vote for strong, progressive candidates who represent a future where everyone is able to thrive.” 

Texas Rising Action Director Rae Martinez: “Senator Lucio has spent decades in the Senate voting with politicians like Dan Patrick to pass laws to discriminate against LGBTQ+ people and make it harder for women to get the reproductive health care they need. Now, a rising generation of voters in the Rio Grande Valley is saying enough. They want a senator who shares their progressive values rather than one who betrays them over and over again.”

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Planned Parenthood Texas Votes Endorses Against Senator Lucio

Lucio faces two Democratic challengers in March 3 primary for Texas SD 27

Planned Parenthood Texas Votes Board of Directors has voted to endorse against incumbent Senator Eddie Lucio, Jr. in the March 3 Democratic Primary in Texas Senate District 27. The anti-endorsement is the first in the organization’s 7-year history and shines a light on Sen. Lucio’s destructive anti-women, anti-reproductive rights and anti-LGBTQ record.

“Sen. Lucio has repeatedly voted for and supported extremely dangerous and discriminatory legislation — and his constituents are demanding accountability,” said Dyana Limon-Mercado, Executive Director of Planned Parenthood Texas Votes. “During his three-decades long career, Lucio has voted for every bill that cuts critical reproductive health care access, adding to the devastating health disparities in his community.”

During the 2019 legislative session, Sen. Lucio voted in favor of Senate Bill 22, which prohibits local governments from partnering with Planned Parenthood on critical health care, education and outreach. Sen. Lucio also authored and passed Senate Bill 24 last year, which requires false and misleading information be given to those seeking an abortion in order to shame and coerce them from their decision. SB 24 was one of three anti-abortion priority bills for anti-choice extremist Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick.

For the first time since he took office in the early 1990s, Lucio is facing two formidable primary challengers in the race for SD 27.  Candidates Sara Stapleton-Barrera, a former trial lawyer, and Ruben Cortez, a member of the State Board of Education, have each pledged 100 percent support for defending Planned Parenthood patients and health centers.

“Over the last 30 years, Sen. Lucio has earned a reputation for doing the dirty work for extremist politicians like Dan Patrick and Greg Abbott — whether it’s attacking immigrant communities, LGBTQ communities or women’s health and reproductive rights,” said Aileen Garza, Rio Grande Valley Youth Organizer for Planned Parenthood Texas Votes. “The Valley deserves someone who truly represents our diverse and welcoming community. We deserve a champion who will fight for all of us.”

Both Stapleton-Barrera and Cortez present a stark contrast to Lucio, who has consistently voted against the LGBTQ community and reproductive rights. In 2013, Lucio voted in favor of the infamous and sweeping anti-abortion bill HB 2, ultimately deemed unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, and in 2017, he was the only Democrat to vote for Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick’s transphobic “bathroom bill.”

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Planned Parenthood Texas Votes (PPTV) is the nonpartisan policy, advocacy and political arm for the Planned Parenthood affiliates in Texas.
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