The Texas Republican Party (GOP) has made a rare move by voting to censure U.S. Rep. Tony Gonzales of Texas Saturday for his lack of fidelity to Republican principles and priorities.
The censure resolution from the Medina County Republicans cited Gonzales' rejection of a border wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, his support for measures to protect Dreamers and his vote for the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 as the reason for the censure. It is the latest twist in his short but action-packed political career.
Gonzales, who was elected in November 2020, said in a statement that he was being punished for voting his conscience. He said he was elected to represent the people of Texas’ 23rd Congressional District, not the Republican Party.
The censure resolution also noted Gonzales' support for the Equality Act, which would outlaw discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, and his vote to remove Republican Marjorie Taylor Greene from her committee assignments.
The Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) also took issue with Gonzales. CPAC Chairman Matt Schlapp said the organization was “disappointed” in Gonzales’ votes and believes he should be censured.
Gonzales' censure has been met with criticism from some Republican officials. U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, for example, said the censure resolution was “ridiculous” and a “huge mistake.”
Other Republicans, including former U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan and former U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh of Illinois, have also expressed their support for Gonzales. Ryan called the censure a “partisan attack” and said it should be “rejected.”
Gonzales' censure is not the first time a Republican has been censured by the party. In 2019, the Republicans in Medina County censured U.S. Rep. Will Hurd of Texas for his support of LGBT rights. In 2018, the Republican Party of Arizona censured U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake for his criticism of President Donald Trump.
The censure resolution from the Medina County Republicans concluded that Gonzales had “repeatedly and consistently failed to demonstrate loyalty to the Republican Party and its core principles, beliefs and values.”
Gonzales said he will continue to serve his constituents and that he will not be deterred by the party’s censure.