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Texas Republicans Censure Rep. Tony Gonzales for Breaking with the Party


Mar 4, 2023

The Texas Republican Party voted Saturday to censure Representative Tony Gonzales for breaking with his fellow Republicans on a handful of votes.

At its quarterly meeting in Austin, the 64-member Republican State Executive Committee approved a resolution of censorship in a vote of 57-5, with one abstention.

The Texas Republican Party said in a statement that it is imposing the «full set of sanctions allowed by the rules, for lack of fidelity to Republican principles and priorities.»

«rule 44 of the Texas Republican Party allows the party to censure elected officials who violate the principles and priorities of the Texas Republican Party three or more times in a given biennium,» the state party said.

The resolution, which required three-fifths votes to pass, said Gonzales, a moderate Republican, voted in favor of the bipartisan Safer Communities Act, landmark gun legislation written in response to the Uvalde shootings, which It is located in the Gonzales district. and Buffalo, New York.

Gonzales was one of 14 House Republicans who joined Democrats in voting for the package, which President Joe Biden signed into law last year.

The resolution also noted Gonzales’s vote in favor of legislation to protect same-sex marriage, and that he was the only Republican to vote against the current House rules package for Congress.

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

NBC News has reached out to the Gonzales campaign for comment.

Sanctions could include the state party waiving rules and statutes that require its neutrality in primary races and declaring that Gonzales is discouraged from running in upcoming Republican primaries.

However, party rules do not allow for his removal and cannot prevent him from running for re-election as a Republican.

The original no-confidence resolution passed Medina County Republicans in February and was supported by more than a dozen other counties in the Gonzales district, according to the state party.

Gonzales, a two-term lawmaker, was first elected in 2020, replacing moderate Republican Will Hurd, who did not seek re-election that year.

rebecca shabad contributed.