Gilbert H. Peña
|Member of the Texas House of Representatives|
from the 144th district
January 13, 2015 – January 8, 2017
|Preceded by||Mary Ann Perez|
|Succeeded by||Mary Ann Perez|
Galveston, Texas, USA
|Spouse(s)||Cynthia Hernandez Peña|
|Alma mater||Texas Southern University|
Born in Galveston, Peña moved to Houston with his family when he was nine years of age. Of a modest background, he held an assortment of jobs, often two at a time, over his working career and is now retired. He obtained a bachelor's degree in Political Science in 1996, when he was forty-seven, from Texas Southern University in Houston. He and his wife, the former Cynthia Hernandez (born 1958), have resided since 1992 in Pasadena, Texas. The couple has four children.
Peña unsuccessfully sought the Republican nomination for the District 144 seat in 2012 but was defeated by intraparty rival, David Pineda, who polled 1,437 votes (58.2 percent) to Peña's 1,030 (41.8 percent). Pineda was narrowly defeated in the November 6, 2012 general election by the Democrat Mary Ann Perez.
In 2014, Peña was unopposed for the Republican nomination for District 144, which includes the San Jacinto Monument, the Houston Ship Channel, and Battleship Texas. Peña calls himself a conservative, which was represented prior to 2013 by Barbara Legler and her late husband, Ken Legler of Pasadena, who died in office in 2012. Mrs. Legler did not contest the seat, as Pineda defeated Peña for the nomination that year. In the November 4, 2014 general election, Peña turned the tables on Representative Perez. He won the seat by 152 votes, 6,015 votes (50.6 percent) to Perez's 5,863 (49.4 percent). In 2016 Mary Ann Perez defeated Peña in a rematch with 16,258 votes to 10,736, 60.2% to 39.8% 
Peña outlined ten reasons that voters should support him, including policies for the creation of more jobs, the enhancement of family safety, health care, and reform of the state educational system. He stressed his support for Christian morality and values.
- "Gilbert Peña". Texas Legislative Reference Library. Retrieved December 10, 2014.
- "Meet Gilbert Peña". Take Back House District 144. Archived from the original on December 20, 2014. Retrieved December 10, 2014. Cite uses deprecated parameter
- "Republican primary election returns, May 29, 2012". Texas Secretary of State. Archived from the original on November 8, 2006. Retrieved December 10, 2014. Cite uses deprecated parameter
- "General election returns, November 4, 2014". Texas Secretary of State. Archived from the original on November 8, 2006. Retrieved December 10, 2014. Cite uses deprecated parameter
|Texas House of Representatives|
Mary Ann Perez
| Texas State Representative from District 144