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Armando Walle

State Rep. Armando Walle takes sons’ Astros cutouts to Texas Capitol

  •   - ,
  • January 12, 2021

State Rep. Armando Walle joined at swearing in by cutouts his wife bought to support Astros

As anyone who visits my ground-floor office in the Texas Capitol can tell you, I eat, sleep, and breathe all things Houston.  In addition to various prints and pictures of landmarks in my north Houston legislative district, on my wall hangs a framed autographed game photo of Astros second baseman Jose Altuve.

The historic Preservation Board bookshelves are decorated with football helmets of my Houston Texans, signed by J.J. Watt, Houston Cougars, MacArthur High, as well as my personal favorite: a classic Houston Oilers helmet signed by Earl Campbell.

It probably would come as no surprise to my colleagues in Austin, as well as my family and friends, that my staff has to often warn me that my “Houston is showing.”

My family and I have been religious fans of the Astros for years. Some of my fondest memories growing up were of my late abuela screaming at Kevin Bass or Jose Cruz to hustle for that ball. 

My son Mandito and I experienced in-person the euphoria of watching Altuve crack his American League pennant-clinching home run off of Yankees reliver Aroldis Chapman in 2019. 

For me and my family, getting sworn in to our elected office on the first day of the 140-day biennial Texas Legislative session feels just as exciting.  It is an honor and privilege that I am getting to experience thanks to the voters of House District 140.

Serving in elected office comes with the serious obligation and responsibility to work hard and do all you can for your constituents. Like many in my district, I come from a hard-working, blue-collar family. My abuelo was a welder, and my abuela cleaned houses. My mother, who had me as a teenager, worked multiple jobs to keep us fed. 

I was the first in my family to graduate from high school, college, and later, from law school. My family block-walked and made phone calls for me in my first election in 2008.  So, each time I am sworn-in to office, it feels like I cracked a walk-off homer to win a pennant—even now, my seventh time to participate.  

From Minute Maid Park to Capitol

Sharing this experience with my family and loved ones is not unlike when Altuve is mobbed by his teammates at home plate who share that joy and pride that comes with making the journey together.

Due to the pandemic and the potential threats on our state Capitol related to the Trump insurrection, my family stayed home in Houston and watched the swearing-in on their computers. 

Instead, I brought to Austin the three fan cut-outs of me and my two boys in our Astros gear that my wife Debbie purchased for us during the Astros pandemic season, so they could be here with me in spirit.

Cutout of Joaquin Walle, 6, at Texas Capitol

A muted swearing-in experience is obviously trivial in comparison to the loss of lives and livelihoods suffered by millions of Americans during this pandemic. 

Cutout of Mandito Walle, 10, at Capitol.

The violent and disturbing attack on our nation’s Capitol less than a week ago is hopefully merely a bizarre coda to what has been the most challenging year in our country’s recent history.

But this current moment in our history coloring the beginning of the 87th Texas Legislature is why the next 139 days will be most significant of my career.

While I am not able to share in this joyous and prideful occasion with my family and friends who have lifted me up, the pictures of me with the cut-outs of my boys at my desk in the House chamber are a reminder of the historical imperative we have to bring Texas back from this dark chapter.

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