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Texas Republicans to vote on resolution that would censure Rep. Tony Gonzales

Gonzales was criticized for breaking with the party on multiple actions, including voting for gun legislation after the mass shooting in Uvalde, which is in his district.
Rep. Tony Gonzales, R-Texas, at the Capitol on Jan. 12, 2023.
Rep. Tony Gonzales, R-Texas, at the Capitol on Jan. 12.Bill Clark / CQ-Roll Call via Getty Images file

WASHINGTON — The Texas Republican Party is set to vote Saturday on a resolution that would censure Rep. Tony Gonzales because of a handful of defections in Congress from his GOP colleagues.

Officials on the 64-member State Republican Executive Committee will vote on the censure resolution at its quarterly meeting in Austin, a party spokesperson said. The resolution was first crafted by the Medina County branch of the state Republican Party, which approved it in February, the spokesperson said.

News of the coming vote was first reported by the San Antonio Report, a nonprofit local news organization.

The resolution said Gonzales, a moderate Republican, violated core principles of the state GOP.

The party takes issue with his vote in favor of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, landmark gun legislation that was written in response to shootings in Uvalde, which is in Gonzales' district, and Buffalo, New York. President Joe Biden signed the legislation into law last year.

The Republicans also singled out Gonzales' vote in favor of legislation to protect same-sex marriage. They also noted that he was the only Republican to vote against the House rules package for the current Congress.

The resolution said Gonzales, whose district covers much of the Texas-Mexico border, has also not expressed support for the Border Safety and Security Act of 2023, a bill that would allow the Department of Homeland Security to turn away non-U.S. nationals without valid entry documents.

Gonzales’ office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Passage of the resolution requires a three-fifths vote of the executive committee, which can impose one or both of the following penalties: It can waive rules and bylaws that mandate the state party's neutrality in primary contests, which would mean the state party would not offer any financial support beyond what’s required by law if Gonzales runs for re-election, and it could spend money that would allow it to share the censure resolution with voters. It could also declare that Gonzales is discouraged from participating in the coming Republican Party primary.

Party rules, however, don’t allow for his removal from office, and they also can’t stop him from running for re-election as a Republican.

Medina County Republicans approved the resolution last month, and 15 other counties in Gonzales' district passed concurring resolutions, according to the state party.

Gonzales was elected in 2020, succeeding moderate Republican Will Hurd, who did not seek re-election that year.