FederalIssuesCongressman Tony Gonzales Censured by Republican Party of Texas

Saturday marks just the second time the Republican Party of Texas has voted to censure sitting politician.
March 6, 2023
This weekend, the Republican Party of Texas (RPT) voted to censure U.S. Rep. Tony Gonzales (R-TX-23) at its quarterly meeting.

The party’s executive quarterly meeting held in Austin on Saturday involved party officials, but Gonzales was not in attendance.

Gonzales was previously censured by the Medina County Republican Party over his votes in support of same-sex marriage and gun control policies, and against border security measures.

The censure of Gonzales stems from his violations of multiple tenants in the Republican Party of Texas Platform principles.

The Medina County Republican Party accused Gonzales of “lack of fidelity to our founding principles, our national and state constitutions, and the Republican Party of Texas.”

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Gonzales voted in favor of the Respect for Marriage Act, in violation of the RPT’s sixth core principle of “self-sufficient families, founded on the traditional marriage of a natural man and a natural woman.” He was the only Texas Republican to vote in favor of the law.

His nay vote on House Roll Call #23, to adopt the rules of the U.S. House of Representatives, made him the only Republican in the House to vote with Democrats against the rules package. RPT claimed his vote against the rules package violated the party’s core principles three, four, five, and nine.

Gonzales also failed to support the Border Safety and Security Act of 2023, sponsored by Texas Representative Chip Roy (R-TX-21) and 49 other Republicans, making Gonzales the only Texas Republican not to support the bill.

His vote in favor of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, which subsidizes “red flag” laws, imposes additional restrictions on otherwise legal owners of firearms, and expands background checks, is a violation of RPT platform principles one and eight.

The censure was passed 57 to 5 with one abstaining.

This is only the second time in history the RPT has voted to censure a sitting politician; the first was in 2018 with then-House Speaker Joe Straus.

Gonzales’s tenure in office ends after the 2024 primary and general election. He is eligible to run for re-election for his congressional seat.

With this censure, the state party can pull financial support for Gonzales’s campaign and spend money on his opposition in an upcoming primary. Additionally, Gonzales will be discouraged from participating in the upcoming 2024 primary election.

Matt Rinaldi, Chairman of the RPT, commented on social media about the censure.

“When every single GOP official in Texas, even those with very poor voting records, has successfully managed to avoid censure, you are the only one who hasn’t and your own constituents and predecessor are against you, perhaps it’s time to look inward instead of blaming other people.”

Gonzales’s campaign spokesperson provided a comment to The Texan.

“Today, like every day, Congressman Tony Gonzales went to work on behalf of the people of TX-23. 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.”

Update: Julie Clark, Medina County Republican Chair, announced she would be running to oppose Gonzales in the 2024 congressional primary.

She said her announcement was initiated by the censure of Gonzales and his “failing to uphold Republican values.”


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Cameron Abrams

Cameron Abrams is a reporter for The Texan. After graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Tabor College and a Master’s Degree from University of the Pacific, Cameron is finishing his doctoral studies where his research focuses on the postmodern philosophical influences in education. In his free time, you will find him listening to a podcast while training for an endurance running event.