87th LegislatureElections 2021State HouseTexas Rep. Leo Pacheco to Resign from State Legislature

The San Antonio Democrat is leaving the legislature early to take up teaching full-time at a state college.
August 9, 2021
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State Rep. Leo Pacheco (D-San Antonio) announced that he will resign from his position in the state legislature and begin teaching full-time at San Antonio College.

“Teaching is my passion so I will not be passing up this wonderful opportunity. I will be resigning my position as State Representative due to current state law that will not allow me to serve in both positions concurrently,” said Pacheco in a social media post.

“It’s been a pleasure serving my district and I will continue to do public service as I always have. In my short time at the Capitol my staff and I Authored 60 house bills as Author, joint author, or co-author that have been signed by the Governor into law. As a faculty member at San Antonio College I will do my best to continue serving my community. I would like to close by saying thank you my community for allowing me to serve you.”

First reported by the San Antonio Express-News, Pacheco’s resignation in the middle of his current term is expected to lead to a special election at the call of Gov. Greg Abbott.

Pacheco was first elected in 2018 after defeating then-Rep. Tomas Uresti in a Democratic primary challenge.

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During the past regular session, Pacheco stirred some controversy when he initially voted in favor of the constitutional carry bill.

In response to his vote, the Bexar County Democratic Party censured Pacheco.

While Pacheco voted against the gun bill in subsequent votes and changed his initial vote in the record saying that he “intended to vote no,” he reportedly told Express-News that his first vote was in order to curry favor with Republicans and open the door to behind-the-scenes compromises to “make a horrible, ugly bill less horrible and ugly.”

Amid the ongoing special session and quorum bust by House Democrats, Pacheco opted to stay in Texas but did not show up at the Capitol, reportedly “in solidarity” with the lawmakers who fled to Washington, D.C.

Prior to Pacheco’s stint in the district, the seat has seen a turbulent change of officeholders.

Uresti was first elected in the term before he lost after ousting Republican Rep. John Lujan, and Lujan won less than a term before that during a special election in early 2016 after Democratic incumbent Joe Farias resigned from his seat.

Now Farias’ daughter-in-law, Katie Farias, is launching a bid for the district in the new special election. She is a Southside ISD board member who has also been a district director for Sen. Roland Gutierrez (D-San Antonio).

In 2020, Democrats running for statewide office on the ballot received a median share of 56.6 percent of the vote against Republicans in the district.

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Daniel Friend

Daniel Friend is a reporter for The Texan. He participated in a Great Books program at Azusa Pacific University and graduated in 2019 with a degree in Political Science. He has studied C.S. Lewis’s science fiction trilogy and in his spare time you might find him writing his own novel partly inspired by the series.