SAN ANTONIO - Democratic state Rep. Roland Gutierrez announced plans to run for state Sen. Carlos Uresti’s District 19 seat just weeks after the senator was found guilty of 11 counts of federal fraud.
Gutierrez made his announcement at Hangar 9 on Saturday to a crowd of more than 100 supporters. His slogan: “New energy, new ideas.”
During his speech, Gutierrez, a San Antonio native, spoke about the importance of honoring veterans and getting treatment for those who are injured and suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.
Gutierrez committed to identifying community challenges, building a bipartisan coalition and vowed to serve District 19 with dignity and honor.
The announcement came after Uresti was convicted for his involvement with a now-bankrupt oil field fracking company.
Uresti does not have to step down while he appeals the ruling, and he still has about 21 months left in his term as state senator.
When he was convicted, the lieutenant governor removed Uresti from all of his committee seats, so Uresti has no say in district matters.
Gutierrez hopes to fill the void with the expectation that Uresti will resign from his position.
“As far as what's happened in this district in the past, I'm not talking about the past,” Gutierrez said. “I'm looking forward to the future, finding solutions for the people in this district, and we're going to go forward. It's important that people have some representation come January, and I aim to do that.”
If Uresti resigns or the state Senate votes him out, Gutierrez said he’s hoping Gov. Greg Abbott will call for a special election so that District 19 can have full representation as soon as possible.
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