Pete Gallego: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Congressman Pete Gallego, Pete Gallego saves choking kid, Pete Gallego choke


U.S. Congressman Pete Gallego found an unusual way last Friday to make positive election-year headlines.

The Texas Democrat, who’s up for re-election in a competitive district in November, is getting credit for rescuing a 3-year-old boy who was choking on chicken nuggets during a flight from Dallas-Fort Worth to San Antonio.

Here’s what you need to know:

1. Gallego Saved a 3-Year-Old From Choking During a Flight from Dallas-Forth Worth to San Antonio

Gallego was on a flight Friday from Dallas-Fort Worth to San Antonio when he says a 3-year-old boy sitting nearby began choking on chicken nuggets. The both’s mother began panicking, at which point Gallego and the mom in question both say Gallego came to the rescue.

Gallego, who was sitting in an aisle seat, told the Houston Chronicle the boy’s mom, who was sitting in the window seat on the other side of the aisle, began screaming “My God, my baby’s choking!”

Gallego, who told the Chronicle he had headphones on at the time, then sprung to action.

2. Gallego Ended Up with Chicken Nuggets all Over Him

Gallego told the Chronicle that he put one hand on the boy’s back and the other on his sternum and forced the boy to spit up his chicken nuggets.

“I knew what was going to happen, so I aimed him forward,” Gallego told the paper. But just as the chicken nuggets were coming up, the boy turned toward Gallego, littering his suit with nuggets.

3. Gallego Took Credit for the Incident on Twitter

Not wanting to waste a gem of an election year story, Gallego tweeted about his heroics when the plane landed in San Antonio, mentioning he’d performed the maneuver on his son. The boy’s mom, Paige Hoch Flippen — who happens to be one of Gallego’s constituents — followed up with a tweet the following day.

4. Gallego Is a Freshman Democrat Who Knocked Off a Republican Incumbent in 2012

Pete Gallego congressional district, Texas 23rd Congressional district

Texas’ sprawling 23rd Congressional District, represented by Pete Gallego. (Wikipedia)

Gallego, a 53-year-old Democrat from Alpine, ousted freshman Republican Quico Canseco in 2012 to take over the seat for Texas’ 23rd Congressional District.

The sprawling district, which stretches across southwestern Texas, is one of the most competitive in Texas. Republican Henry Bonilla held the seat from 1992 until he was ousted by Democrat Ciro Rodriguez in 2006. Rodriguez lost the seat to Canseco in 2010, but Gallego won the seat with 50.3 percent of the vote to Canseco’s 45.5 percent in 2012.

5. Gallego Has Gotten No Shortage of Good Publicity

Media outlets from Texas and the Beltway jumped all over the story of Gallego’s heroics, and the congressman hasn’t been shy about re-tweeting everyone from ordinary citizens to Texas Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis who have praised him.