(UnitedVoice.com) – When a lawmaker is elected to Congress, they’re expected to represent the interests of their constituents. Sometimes that means bucking the party line. That’s what one Republican representative did in Texas, and now his peers have expressed their displeasure.
On Saturday, March 4, the Republican Party of Texas voted to censure Rep. Tony Gonzales at a meeting of the State Republican Executive Committee (SREC). The moderate GOP lawmaker represents the 23rd District, which includes San Antonio and Uvalde. According to the party’s press release, the decision to censure Gonzales was based on the five instances when he bucked the party line on “traditional marriage, second amendment [SIC] protections, preserving freedom, and border security.”
Sixteen of the 29 counties in the 23rd Districted supported the measure to censure Gonzales. The final SREC vote was 57-5 against the congressman, with one abstention.
BREAKING: @TexasGOP Officially Censures @RepTonyGonzales https://t.co/yHukwoiFjv
— Texas GOP (@TexasGOP) March 4, 2023
Gonzales didn’t attend the meeting on Saturday. Instead, he spent the morning with military veterans and later went to an event with Border Patrol agents.
Great visit today with TX-23 BP agents at the Border Patrol Freedom Fest in Concan. Grateful for these hard working men and women that keep our communities safe. pic.twitter.com/1vMeOAYYB7
— Rep. Tony Gonzales (@RepTonyGonzales) March 4, 2023
The Texas Tribune reported the GOP was upset with Gonzales about a vote last year in the wake of the Uvalde school shooting that left 19 children and two teachers dead. The lawmaker supported a bipartisan gun control bill after the shooting that expanded background checks and put other measures in place. Gonzales said, “If the vote was today, I would vote twice on it if I could.”
Gonzales also supported a bipartisan measure to recognize same-sex marriages. The Texas GOP only supports traditional marriage between one man and one woman.
The last time the Texas GOP censured a member of its own party was in 2018 against Texas House Speaker Joe Straus. It was the only time in history — until now — that the party publicly disavowed one of its members. That lawmaker also represented the San Antonio area. Straus blocked a bathroom bill against transgender Texans because he feared it would hurt the economy.
Now that Gonzales has been censured, the party is free to get involved in his next primary. Without the measure, the Texas GOP would have been required to remain neutral.
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