Half of the Rio Grande Valley’s eight state representatives joined their fellow Democrats in fleeing Austin on a private jet, choosing to lobby Congress in Washington, D.C., rather than perform their elected duties.
Two others also participated in denying the quorum, but their locations are unknown. One other lawmaker had an excused absence on Monday, and the last one was present but voted not to arrest the missing Democrats. Who are these valley legislators, and how did they vote on key issues during the regular session?
In Washington, D.C.
During the regular legislative session this year, these four representatives voted against banning critical race theory in public schools, banning abortion once a baby’s heartbeat has been detected (the Heartbeat Bill), and against the constitutional carry of firearms. They are all part of the group that went to the nation’s Capitol.
State Rep. Armando Martinez (D–Weslaco) HD 39
In the final moments of the 87th Legislative Session in May, Martinez joined House Democrats in busting quorum and killing the election integrity omnibus bill, a precursor to Monday’s events. Martinez has been in office since 2005 and has run unopposed since 2012.
State Rep. Alex Dominguez (D–Brownsville) HD 37
Dominguez has been front and center among the Democrats who fled Austin. Prior to this week, he joined Democrats in denying a quorum on May 30, effectively killing the election integrity bill during the regular session. He was elected to the House in 2018 and ran unopposed in 2020.
State Rep. Bobby Guerra (D–Mission) HD 41
Guerra has been in office since 2012.
State Rep. Eddie Lucio III (D–Brownsville) HD 38
Lucio has been in office since 2007 and has run unopposed since 2012.
Though these two state representatives didn’t flee to Washington, D.C., they are currently missing. They both voted against banning critical race theory, against the Heartbeat Bill, and against constitutional carry.
State Rep. Oscar Longoria (D–Mission) HD 35
Though not present in Washington, D.C., Longoria was among House Democrats who denied a quorum on Monday. Notably, on Thursday, he revealed on Facebook that he was currently in Austin. Longoria was elected to the House in 2012 and has run unopposed since.
State Rep. Sergio Muñoz, Jr. (D–Palmview) HD 36
Muñoz was among House Democrats who were absent on Monday. He was elected in 2010 and has run unopposed since then.
State Rep. Terry Canales (D–Edinburg) HD 40
When Democrats busted quorum on Monday, Canales had an excused absence. He has since expressed support for his missing colleagues. During the regular session, Canales was among the Democrats who denied a quorum and killed the election integrity bill. He also voted against banning critical race theory and banning abortion once a heartbeat has been detected, and he was absent for the vote on constitutional carry. Canales was elected in 2012 and ran unopposed in 2020.
State Rep. Ryan Guillen (D–Rio Grande City) HD 31
Out of all the RGV legislators, Ryan Guillen was the only House member to appear on the House floor this week. However, he voted against sending for the arrest of his missing colleagues. During the regular session, Guillen voted against banning critical race theory, but voted in favor of the Heartbeat Bill and constitutional carry. Guillen was elected in 2002.