By Carlos Morales
Sul Ross State University has named former Texas Congressman and state lawmaker Pete Gallego as their lone finalist in the search for their next president.
The Texas State University System could consider Gallego’s nomination as early as next month. If approved, he would be the 13th president of Sul Ross, and the first president to be a graduate of the school.
“Sul Ross opened the doors of opportunity for me and many from across Texas,” Gallego said in a press release. “I’m excited to work with the communities of Alpine, Del Rio, Eagle Pass, and Uvalde to make sure our university continues to open doors and provide a top quality education for future generations of our sons and daughters,” Gallego said.
Gallego, an Alpine native, most recently lost a special election for Senate District 19 to Republican Pete Flores.
The Texas Democrat also spent time in Congress, serving U.S. House District 23, which stretches from West Texas out toward San Antonio and covers most of the Texas-Mexico border. Gallego narrowly lost his reelection bid in 2014 to Republican Will Hurd, who is now set to retire. For nearly two decades before his stint in Congress, Gallego was a state representative.
Gallego was selected from a pool of roughly 40 candidates in a national search.
“Pete Gallego emerged as the front-runner by articulating an exciting vision for Sul Ross and demonstrating his intimate knowledge of the university and the communities it serves,” said Chancellor McCall in a press release.
Sul Ross State University’s main campus is in Alpine and has satellite facilities in Del Rio, Eagle Pass and Uvalde.
Current Sul Ross President Bill Kibler will retire in the summer after six serving for six years. SRSU’s faculty senate issued a vote of no confidence in him earlier this year, as reported by Texas Tribune.