Senator Elect Flores paints District 19 Red



Senator-Elect Pete Flores chats with Mike Hines, COO, Mesa Southern Well Servicing, LP and Alan Claiborne, CFO, Mesa Southern Well Servicing, LP at Mi Mexico. Hines said that Flores is well suited for the Senate as a former Texas Colonel Game Warden. “He had to deal with people at all different levels as game warden. He will bring strong Texas values from a career of protecting people and wildlife. NOEL WILKERSON HOLMES | PLEASANTON EXPRESS

Senator-Elect Pete Flores chats with Mike Hines, COO, Mesa Southern Well Servicing, LP and Alan Claiborne, CFO, Mesa Southern Well Servicing, LP at Mi Mexico. Hines said that Flores is well suited for the Senate as a former Texas Colonel Game Warden. “He had to deal with people at all different levels as game warden. He will bring strong Texas values from a career of protecting people and wildlife. NOEL WILKERSON HOLMES | PLEASANTON EXPRESS

There’s a new Texas Senator in town and he accomplished a handful of firsts winning with 53 percent of the vote over Democrat, Pete Gallego who earned 47 percent of the vote. He is the first Texas State Senator from Pleasanton and Atascosa County. He is the first Republican since Reconstruction to hold the Texas Senate seat for District 19 and the first Hispanic Republican state senator in Texas history. Despite the ‘Blue Wave” that is being widely discussed, Flores painted this historically blue district red. As a state senator, Flores will represent more than 800,000 persons living in Atascosa, Bexar, Brewster, Crockett, Dimmit, Edwards, Frio, Kinney, Maverick, Medina, Pecos, Real, Reeves, Terrell, Uvalde, Val Verdi and Zavala counties.

“Caras y Milagros. Facetime works miracles,” said Texas Senator- Elect Pete Flores who is a retired Texas Colonel Game Warden who oversaw a $60 million budget, managed more than two dozen field offices and supervised more than 127 civilian employees and nearly 530 commissioned officers. “We won with an old-fashioned grassroots campaign in seventeen counties.” His grassroots campaign volunteers and he made 100,000 calls and knocked on 20,000 doors from late June until September 18.

Pete Flores stopped by the Pleasanton Express right after he announced his run for Texas Senate District 19 seat. In the last six weeks of his grassroots campaign, he put 5,000 miles on his truck “Big Red”. NOEL WILKERSON HOLMES | PLEASANTON EXPRESS

Pete Flores stopped by the Pleasanton Express right after he announced his run for Texas Senate District 19 seat. In the last six weeks of his grassroots campaign, he put 5,000 miles on his truck “Big Red”. NOEL WILKERSON HOLMES | PLEASANTON EXPRESS

This grassroots campaign still had momentum from his run for the same seat in 2016 when Flores made a name for himself running against then 10-year incumbent Carlos Uresti. Although Flores lost, he garnered an impressive 40 percent of the vote totaling 97,682 votes. Uresti held the Texas Senate District 19 seat from 2006 until June 2018 when he had to vacate it after he was convicted of 11 felonies.

On Monday, Flores popped into Mi Mexico on Hwy 97 for lunch. Flores spoke to everyone who approached him and reached out to those that did not. “People need to see you in person and hear what is on your mind and you hear what is on theirs,” said Flores. “We have a saying that a good game warden never met a stranger,” said Flores who credits his experience as Texas’ Colonel Game Warden for preparing him for his new role as Texas State Senator. “Because you have to represent. This will be no different. I did it my whole career as a game warden. When you called, we came. When you talked, we listened. When we acted, we did not expect anything in return.”

Senate District 19 is the largest geographical senatorial district in Texas covering a third of the Texas- Mexico border and is 66 percent Hispanic. Flores said though that race was not a factor in this political race as his opponent Pete Gallego, Democrat, Alpine was also Hispanic. Flores said that the people chose him because he is not a career politician. “I am an everyday man,” said Flores. “I cannot put it any better than to say they voted for me because they saw themselves.”

“South Texans are not about race,” said Flores. “We are a blended culture and that blended culture is conservative. You know God, family, and country. We all speak Tex-Mex, you know English and Spanish mixed together. We put our hot dogs in tortillas.” Flores said that he also knows he won a percentage of Democratic voters because he did not fit the mold of a career politician.

Property taxes are Flores’ priority in the Senate. He joined Pleasanton citizens recently protesting his 2018 property taxes telling them when he returned to fight them again it would be as a Texas Senator. Flores said he does not mind paying his fair share, but that it is unsustainable at this point.

“I had a good conversation this morning with the lieutenant governor on a number of priority issues,” said Flores. “Of course, property tax reform is the number one issue, not only with myself but with leadership and the majority of the Senate. It’s unsustainable for us right now and needs addressing. We need to address the way our property is being appraised. Right now, it’s done differently by every county in the state. That’s 254 different ways, and that’s not fair and equitable.” Flores said that he wants to work with the comptroller’s office and counties to come up with a uniform methodology of appraisal, where it is fair and equitable, and “we’re not just subject to the whim of individual chief appraisers.”

“We need to approach the way that there is governance of the appraisal districts and to make them more accountable to the voters, the customers, if you will,” said Flores. “Currently, members of the Board of Appraisal Districts are appointed by the taxing entities. Basically, it’s almost like a buffer from the people who appointed them who are subject to the vote of the public. We need that board to be elected or be elected officials so that they can be held directly accountable to the voters for their actions.”

Flores said, “It is a check and balances that our framers of our constitution intended for our republic. Right now, that doesn’t exist at that basic level. When we talk about caps and things of that nature, if you don’t address the appraisal side, then it’s basically you’re not getting anywhere. We want to begin with that. If I am in Floresville it is not different from Pleasanton. Pleasanton is not different from Pearsall. Each chief appraiser will have set rules. Now they do what the heck they want, and that’s to our disadvantage.”

Flores resides in Pleasanton. He is married to Elizabeth and is the father of two grown children and grandfather to two. “Pleasanton is my home. Ms. Elizabeth and I will continue to live here, but of course, there will be some commuting, but that is only for the purpose of business and the session. I love it here. This community has always been welcoming. It is convenient to San Antonio and my family in Laredo and an easy commute to Austin. He said he loves the slogan “Pleasanton the city of friendly folks and live oaks” noting that he has 43 live oaks in his yard.

The swearing in for Senator-elect Flores will be held Friday, Oct. 12 at 10 a.m. in the Senate chamber at the Texas State Capitol in Austin. Atascosa County Judge Bob Hurley will swear Flores in during the ceremony. “I am so excited to have a state senator to represent Atascosa County who actually lives in Atascosa County. What a fine opportunity to have our state senator who is our neighbor. I wish him all God’s blessing.”

Local law enforcement is also pleased to see a peace officer elected to the Senate, “First, I am very excited about our own Pete Flores being elected to the Texas Senate,” said Atascosa County Sheriff David Soward. “Just knowing the honesty and integrity that will be returned to that seat at the Capital in Austin makes me proud. Pete is a friend, a fellow Peace Officer, and a good Christian man. There is no doubt in my mind that he will do great in representing all of SD 19.”

Flores grew up in South Texas, graduating high school in Laredo. He graduated from Texas A&M and was the first Hispanic Director of Law Enforcement for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

County…….% of the Vote

Real…………………………….. 87.34%
Edwards………………………. 84.06%
Medina………………………… 81.25%
Crockett………………………. 76.83%
Kinney…………………………. 75.53%
Atascosa……………………… 72.04%
Uvalde…………………………. 63.98%
Pecos…………………………… 62.30%
Terrell………………………….. 56.64%
Frio……………………………… 54.55%
Val Verde……………………… 48.15%
Bexar…………………………… 46.16%
Reeves…………………………. 43.11%
Brewster………………………. 40.18%
Dimmit………………………… 31.13%
Maverick………………………. 28.90%
Zavala…………………………. 18.15%
% of votes won by Flores

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