Texas Republicans censure Rep. Tony Gonzales for breaking with the party
The Texas Republican Party on Saturday voted to censure Rep. Tony Gonzales for breaking with his GOP colleagues in a handful of votes.
At its quarterly meeting in Austin, the 64-member State Republican Executive Committee passed a censure resolution in a 57-5 vote, with one abstention.
The Texas GOP said in a statement that it is imposing the "full set of penalties allowed by the rules, for lack of fidelity to Republican principles and priorities."
"Rule 44 of the Republican Party of Texas allows the party to censure elected officials who violate Texas Republican Party principles and priorities three times or more in a given biennium," the state party said.
The resolution, which required a three-fifths vote to pass, said that Gonzales, a moderate Republican, voted in favor of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act — landmark gun legislation that was written in response to shootings in Uvalde, which is in 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’ vote in favor of legislation to protect same-sex marriage, and that he was the only Republican to vote against the House rules package for the current Congress.
The Republicans said Gonzales, whose district covers much of the Texas-Mexico border, has also not expressed support for the Border Safety and Security Act of 2023, a bill that would allow the Department of Homeland Security to turn away non-U.S. nationals without valid entry documents.
NBC News has reached out to Gonzales’ campaign for comment.
Penalties could include the state party waiving rules and bylaws that mandate its neutrality in primary contests and declaring that Gonzales is discouraged from participating in the coming GOP primary.
However, party rules do not allow for his removal from office and they also can’t stop him from running for re-election as a Republican.
The original censure resolution was approved by Medina County Republicans in February and was supported by more than a dozen other counties in Gonzales' district, according to the state party.
Gonzales, a two-term lawmaker, was first elected in 2020, succeeding moderate Republican Will Hurd, who did not seek re-election that year.
This article was originally published on NBCNews.com