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Funded in part by a grant from TexTreasures and by the UT Arlington Library.

Eddie Lucio

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(59 pages)

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Eddie Lucio, Jr., was born in Brownsville, Texas in 1946. He graduated from Brownsville High School in 1963 and earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Education from Pan American University in 1972. He was elected to the office of Cameron County Treasurer in 1970 and served as president of the County Treasurers Association in 1976. He was elected Cameron County Commissioner in 1978, serving one term. He was elected to the Texas House of Representatives in 1986 and served two consecutive terms prior to being elected to the Texas Senate in 1990, still serving in that capacity in 2009. At the time of the interview, he was one of several Democratic Party affiliates in absentia from the Texas Special Legislative Session over redistricting.

Interview Summary:

Eddie Lucio, Jr., expresses his opinions on issues facing South Texas and the need to maintain a strong economy to provide ample employment along the Texas-Mexico border in the Rio Grande Valley. He tells about his first election to public office as Cameron County Treasurer against incumbent, Mrs. W. R. Jones. He talks about his election as County Commissioner in 1978 against incumbent, Mike Cortinas, the changes he brought about in the structure of the county government, and blames his reelection loss in 1982 on redistricting. He refers to the advertising business he began before he won election to the Texas House of Representatives in 1986 against incumbent Rene Oliveira, and gives details on his campaign for election to the Texas Senate in 1990 against Hector Uribe to represent Hidalgo and Cameron Counties. He discusses the changes in campaign networking over the years and attributes the issue of tort reform for aiding his election win to the Senate. He argues the effectiveness of the Mexican American Legislative Caucus and explains his relationship with Republican Party affiliates in the Texas Senate by referring to his voting record on a number of issues. He alludes to his family's financial struggles while living in the Bougainvillea public housing project in Brownsville and speaks of his golf scholarship to Texas A&I-Kingsville. He emphasizes his personal reasons for not pursuing a congressional seat and notes many of his relatives' connections to teaching in South Texas. He describes his 1992 election battle against Juan 'Chuy' Hinojosa and reveals his personal struggle with heart disease that initiated his sponsorship of health facilities legislation for medically underserved South Texas. He elaborates on the redistricting issue that caused Democratic Party affiliates to flee the special session on redistricting in the Texas Legislature occurring at the time of the interview. He mentions such notable Mexican Americans as Eligio 'Kika' de la Garza, Ray Ramon, and Henry Cisneros and comments on Bob Bullock, George W. Bush, former U.S. Senator Lloyd Bentsen, and former Texas governor Ann Richards.

Locations of residence or activity:

Cameron County, Brownsville

Interview Date: