A Republican congressman from Texas is under fire from some constituents after voting differently than most Republican colleagues.
Medina County last month censured Rep. Tony Gonzales (R-TX) for divergent votes on legislation affecting gun control, border security and same-sex marriage. The county asked the state party to also censure the independent voter whom they consider a renegade Republican. Since then, 15 other counties in the congressman’s district have also passed resolutions of censure against him, according to a Texas Tribune report.
The report noted the Republican Party’s executive committee will consider a censure resolution at its quarterly meeting Saturday for some of the Gonzales votes that split from GOP principles.
A state party censure requires a three-fifths majority to pass. If all 64 committee members attend, censure would require 38 affirmative votes. State party censure is an exception to a rule requiring party neutrality in intraparty contests. That means, the state party could spend GOP funds to inform voters of the censure during a potential Gonzalez primary.
“What censure?” Gonzales said when reporters questioned him Thursday in San Antonio. “Has a censure taken place? I think they’re gonna vote on it Saturday, and we’ll see how that goes.”
Gonzales added — as he has before — that he has no regrets about voting in favor of a bipartisan gun safety law in the aftermath of the mass murder at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. He was the only House Republican from Texas to support the measure, according to the Tribune, which added he was one of only 14 nationwide.
“If the vote was today,” Gonzales said, “I would vote twice on it if I could.”
The Republican who marches to the beat of his own drummer explained he will not attend Saturday’s meeting because of other obligations. He is scheduled to lead a congressional delegation to the Eagle Pass border checkpoint Monday.
He scoffs at people who try to paint him as something other than a conservative, noting the number of times he votes with fellow Republicans.
“The reality is I’ve taken almost 1,400 votes, and the bulk of those have been with the Republican Party,” Gonzales said.
The retired Navy master chief advocates for many typical conservative causes like border security and fighting fentanyl smuggling and human trafficking.
A Friday Twitter post by the Texas Republican noted Border Patrol agents recorded 1 million illegal encounters during the first four months of the fiscal year.
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