Political expert: Retirement of longtime Texas Sen. Lucio Jr. could shake up RGV’s political landscape

Politics

HARLINGEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — State Sen. Eddie Lucio Jr. has served Texas’ 27th district since 1991 and on Thursday, from his Harlingen office, he announced his retirement.

“For good reason and to do some of the things that I have been wanting to do like my own personal ministry to help the less fortunate in our community,” said Lucio Jr., a Democrat whose district stretches from Brownsville to Kingsville and includes South Padre Island.

Once he leaves office, Lucio Jr. said that he is going to keep working for the Rio Grande Valley community.

“I want to continue to fight for what’s right in our communities, for my grandchildren,” he said.

He’s following his son Eddie Lucio III, state representative for Texas House District 38, who announced in October that he will not be seeking re-election.

“He has very much created a political family,” said Dr. Monica Clua Losada, a political science professor at UTRGV. “I think many people were expecting that the dynasty that they created was going to continue.”

Though Losada said this announcement came as a surprise, she said it could create more opportunities for change in the Rio Grande Valley.

“Politics is something that more often continues doing the same thing time and time again, but this actually opens the opportunity for change,” Losada said.

Since the beginning of Lucio Jr.’s office in 1991, Losada said the face of politics in the RGV has changed.

“There are changes that the Valley, as I mentioned, has gone through. Huge social, demographic, political, and economic changes in last 30 years and certainly in the last six since I’ve been here,” said Losada. “This is a place that is rapidly changing.”

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