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HOUSTON (AP) -- Voters have given deceased state Sen. Mario Gallegos one last victory in Harris County.

They chose the late lawmaker over Republican newcomer R.W. Bray.

Gallegos died on Oct. 16 of complications related to liver disease. It was too late for officials to take his name off the ballot. He was widely expected to win again in the heavily Democratic district in order to trigger a special election. Gov. Rick Perry is expected to schedule one for December. The Legislature starts work in January.

The seat is critical to Democrats, who want to keep Republicans from achieving a supermajority in the Legislature s upper chamber. Republicans currently hold 19 seats to the Democrats 12.

If Republicans can reach 21 seats, they can suspend all rules and pass almost any bill they wish.

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