The Texas Republican Party on Saturday censured Rep. Tony Gonzales, R-Texas, for his votes on issues including same-sex marriage, gun restrictions and border security, deciding the votes violated the priorities and principles of the party.
Gonzales, who represents Texas’ 23rd Congressional District stretching from western San Antonio to El Paso, was censured by the Medina County Republican Party last month for taking actions “in opposition to the core principles of the Republican Party of Texas.”
On Saturday, the 64-member State Republican Executive Committee voted in favor of the resolution, 57-5, with one abstention, at its quarterly meeting in Austin.
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The resolution accused Gonzales of engaging in a “pattern of action demonstrably opposed” to the state party’s principles and legislative priorities.
It cited his votes in favor of the Respect for Marriage Act, which established federal protections for same-sex and interracial marriage and was signed by President Biden in December, as violating principles preserving “self-sufficient families, founded on the traditional marriage of a natural man and a natural woman.”
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Separately, the resolution took aim at Gonzales, who represents a border district, for having failed to support a key Republican border security bill in the House that would block migrants from entering the U.S. if they could not be detained or placed in a remain-in-Mexico-type program. Gonzales had blasted the bill as “un-American” and argued it would essentially prevent asylum claims at the border. He said it would worsen the ongoing border crisis and incentivize human smuggling.
“Instead of messaging on a bill that has 0.00% chance of passing into law, we should fix the root problems of our broken immigration system,” he said last month.
The resolution said the vote violated the priority to “secure the border and protect Texans.”
The resolution also calls out Gonzales for voting against a House GOP rules package and for voting in favor of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, a bipartisan gun control law written in response to the mass shootings in Uvalde, which is located in Gonzales’ district, and in Buffalo, New York.
The bill’s support of red flag laws, restrictions on firearm owners and expansion of background checks “violates our Second Amendment rights,” according to the Texas GOP.
Gonzales could now face disciplinary action ranging from lifting the restriction on state GOP officials campaigning against him to cutting off financial support for his next re-election campaign, according to party rules.
On Saturday, Gonzales fired back at the censure.
“Today, like every day, Congressman Tony Gonzales went to work on behalf of the people of TX-23,” a spokesperson said in a statement to Fox News Digital. “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.”
Earlier this week, Gonzales defended his voting record.
“The reality is I’ve taken almost 1,400 votes, and the bulk of those have been with the Republican Party,” Gonzales said, according to The Texas Tribune. He also said he did not regret his votes, including the gun safety bill.
“If the vote was today, I would vote twice on it if I could,” he said.
The National Republican Congressional Committee gave its backing to Gonzales after the vote.
“Congressman Gonzales is a valued member of the House majority, and we look forward to supporting his re-election,” NRCC Regional Press Secretary Delanie Bomar said in a statement
Critics of Gonzales’ positions cheered the move by the state party. Texans for Strong Borders, an advocacy group for border security, said it backed the censure “in large part for [Gonzales’] active opposition to commonsense border security legislation and his use of leftist smears to denigrate the work of members who are serious about stopping the invasion at our southern border.”