Texas Republican Party Censures Congressman Tony Gonzales for His Sketchy Voting Record

On March 4, 2023, the Republican Party of Texas voted to censure Texas Congressman Tony Gonzales over several controversial votes on issues ranging from gun control to border security. 

The State Republican Executive Committee passed the censure resolution by a resounding 57-5 vote count. The last time that the Texas GOP censured a party member was in 2018, when it took then-Texas State House Speaker Joe Straus to task for his moves to undermine conservatives in the state house. Straus was also a moderate Republican that represented parts of the San Antonio area. 

One of the key legislative actions that Gonzales received heavy criticism for was his vote for a bipartisan gun control law that was passed in the wake of the Uvalde school massacre, which occurred in his district.  He stressed that if the vote were held once again, “I would vote twice on it if I could.”

“The reality is I’ve taken almost 1,400 votes, and the bulk of those have been with the Republican Party,” Gonzales said in defending his track record.

Gonzales’ campaign replied to the Texas GOP’s censure in a statement that criticized the state party. 

“Today, like every day, Congressman Tony Gonzales went to work on behalf of the people of TX-23. He talked to veterans, visited with Border Patrol agents, and met constituents in a county he flipped from blue to red. The Republican Party of Texas would be wise to follow his lead and do some actual work,” campaign spokesperson Evan Albertson stated. 

On March 6, two days following  the censure, Gonzales received a new primary challenger in Jule Clark, the chairwoman of the Medina County Republican Party. The censure resolution was first introduced in Medina County and was backed by over a dozen other county parties in Gonzales’ district. 

In the video announcing Clark’s challenge against Gonzales, the 23rd congressional district representative was compared to former Wyoming Congresswoman Liz Cheney and Utah Senator Mitt Romney. 

The original censure resolution alluded to Gonzales’ support for the bipartisan gun control law that was passed in 2022, in addition to his vote for a bill that would enshrine protections for homosexual marriage. On top of that, the resolution referenced his vote against the House rules package in January and his opposition to border security legislation introduced by staunch conservative, Texas Congressman Chip Roy. 

Gonzales was the only Republican Texas and one of 14 Republicans to vote for the gun grab. He was the only Republican to vote against the rules package, and he was the sole opponent against Roy’s border security bill, declaring that it would get rid of asylum. 

Gonzales was first elected in the 23rd district by a 51% to 47% vote in 2020. In 2022, he was re-elected by a more resounding 56.2% to 39.1% due to more favorable GOP redistricting. 

It appears that Gonzalez is following in the footsteps of his RINO predecessor Will Hurd, who previously represented the 23rd congressional district. BLP has reported on Hurd’s pro-establishment ways on prior occasions. Ultimately, Texas’ 23rd district needs better GOP representation. Let’s hope that Clark can come in and bring some solid conservative leadership to that district.

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