U.S. Rep. Tony Gonzales, R-San Antonio, is resisting a Republican Party of Texas censure for his recent party-breaking positions.
Saturday’s quarterly meeting of the party’s executive committee will examine a censure resolution that lists Gonzales’ recent defections. He opposed Texas Republican Rep. Chip Roy’s border security measure and supported a same-sex marriage bill and a bipartisan gun law passed after the Uvalde school shooting in his district.
Gonzales reiterated that he has no regrets backing the gun safety measure, which enhanced background checks, among other things. He was the lone Texas House Republican and one of 14 nationwide to endorse the proposal.
Republican Party of Texas
Gonzales won’t attend Saturday’s meeting. On Monday, he will lead a congressional delegation to Eagle Pass and Uvalde on the Mexican border. He also attended a news conference Thursday to protest a San Antonio ballot initiative that would decriminalise abortion.
Gonzales’ short but eventful political career continues with the censure effort. He won a recounted primary runoff in 2020 and kept the 23rd District in GOP control. As his district gets redder, Uvalde’s Republican congressman faces heat for votes on guns and gay marriage. In 2022, redistricting made the seat redder, forcing him to run a unique race that tested his independence. Double-digit victory.
The intraparty sniping has continued, especially since Gonzales has loudly opposed Roy’s border security bill, which would allow the secretary of Homeland Security to prohibit border crossings and imprison asylum-seekers while their applications are reviewed. Medina County passed the state party’s censure resolution last month. Gonzales’ broad district now has fifteen counties with concurring resolutions.
Three-fifths of the 64-member State Republican Executive Committee must pass the resolution Saturday. If the resolution passes, the state party might spend money to alert Gonzales’ primary voters of the censure. Intraparty contests demand party neutrality. The state party believes it only censured former state House Speaker Joe Straus in 2018. San Antonio-born moderate. The Medina County resolution claims Gonzales violated party
principles by voting for the gun law and opposed Roy’s border measure. Gonzales also voted for a bill to formalise same-sex marriage last year and against the U.S. House rules package in January, which made it easier to remove the speaker and raise taxes.
KEN S5 tweeted San Antonio-area representative’s support. You can see below:
The San Antonio-area representative’s support for same-sex marriage protections and a bipartisan gun safety law puts him on the brink of censure by his Republican colleagues. https://t.co/JicA3TpBPT
— KENS 5 (@KENS5) March 3, 2023
Gonzales laughed Thursday at his resistance to the rules package, which was painstakingly negotiated with House conservatives to allow Kevin McCarthy to become speaker. Gonzales asked a reporter if he understood the rules package, calling it “so within baseball.”
“The reality is I’ve taken almost 1,400 votes, and the bulk of those have been with the Republican Party,” Gonzales said.
Last year, Gonzales told The Texas Tribune that supporting the same marriage measure “wasn’t a tough vote” and that Republicans must accept it to thrive. The Roy border bill is the latest flashpoint. Gonzales maintains it would eliminate asylum. Roy denies. Gonzales and Roy are now rivals, with allied groups threatening to run a primary challenger against Gonzales.
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Gonzales criticised Roy on Thursday while praising his GOP voting record. Roy was one of four Republicans to oppose a bill to evaluate President Joe Biden’s executive orders’ inflationary impact a day earlier. Roy opposed the idea because it did not include “‘emergency’ orders that are among of the key drivers of inflation.”
“Just yesterday, I voted to hold Biden accountable for inflation,” Gonzales said. “Not all Republicans voted in favor of ensuring that.”
It is not surprising that Gonzales would face opposition from Medina County. Raul Reyes lives in the county, which is west of San Antonio, and is Gonzales’ rival in the 2020 primary runoff. Reyes is still a vehement opponent.