GOP representative faces censorship of votes in favor of gun safety and gay marriage
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Republican U.S. Representative Tony Gonzales of Texas faced rare potential censure from his state party on Saturday for votes that included backing new gun safety laws after the Uvalde school shooting it was in his neighborhood.
A censure from the Texas Republican Party would underscore how the two-term congressman’s willingness to break with conservatives on key issues during his short tenure has raised eyebrows among GOP activists and some colleagues.
This independent streak includes opposition to a sweeping House GOP immigration proposal on the U.S.-Mexico border, which includes much of its South Texas district. He also voted to defend same-sex marriage and adamantly “no” to a set of House rules after Republican leader Kevin McCarthy became president.
Gonzales was defiant ahead of the vote, which was to take place at a meeting of Texas GOP leaders and activists in Austin. We did not expect him to attend.
“We’ll see how it goes,” he told reporters in San Antonio on Thursday.
Effectively, a censure would allow the state party to step aside if Gonzales runs again in 2024 and spend money reminding primary voters of the reprimand. Passing a censure requires a three-fifths vote of the state’s Republican Executive Committee. More than a dozen county GOP clubs in the Gonzales District have already approved local no-confidence resolutions.
Gonzales sailed through his GOP primary and was easily reelected last year in his heavily Hispanic congressional district. He won for the first time in 2020 to fill a vacant seat left by Republican Will Hurd – who also hasn’t been shy about breaking with the GOP, and who aides say is now planning to run for president. presidency.
The potential censorship illustrates the intraparty fights still erupting in America’s biggest red state even as Republicans celebrate 20 years of total control of the Texas legislature and all state offices.
Last year, former Texas GOP Chairman Allen West resigned to mount a mild primary challenge against Republican Gov. Greg Abbott. In 2018, the state party also censured a moderate former Texas House speaker who opposed bathroom restrictions for transgender people.
After the Uvalde school shooting that killed 19 students and two teachers, Gonzales backed a sweeping, bipartisan gun violence bill signed by President Joe Biden. He is also the only Texas Republican in the State House or Congress to call for the resignation of the state’s police chief following law enforcement’s wavering response to the attack.
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