Rep. Tony Gonzales Narrowly Takes Victory in Primary Runoff

Rep. Tony Gonzales Narrowly Takes Victory in Primary Runoff

( – US Representative Tony Gonzalez, censured last March, emerged victorious in a primary runoff race in Texas, but only by a few hundred votes. He will now move forward to the November election.

Gonzalez had gone up against a hardline Republican, Brandon Herrera, a gun rights activist who billed himself as “The AK Guy.” Herrera had lobbed attacks at Gonzalez, particularly for his support of a gun safety bill following the deadly shooting in Uvalde, which fell in Gonzalez’s territory, Texas’ 23rd Congressional District. The challenger also called the incumbent out on his immigration proposals.

The Texas Republican Party censured the representative in March 2023 after he took a more moderate approach that grated on the GOP’s hardline and ultra-conservative stance. However, he never lost his constituents’ support. In the March GOP primary, he secured 45% of the vote, which led to a runoff because no one candidate managed to obtain 50%. In April, Governor Greg Abbott (R) even put his support behind Gonzalez, officially endorsing him. House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) even attended one of his fundraising events.

Herrera had a lot of support in his own right. He raised over $800,000 ahead of the March 5 primary, bringing in more than $1.3 million before the runoff election. He earned the backing of far-right Conservatives, many of whom also follow Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL).

Still, his efforts didn’t match Gonzalez’s. The incumbent managed to raise more than $4.5 million before the runoff, and he spent a lot of time in his sprawling district, which encompasses the area stretching from El Paso to San Antonio and covers the largest section of the US-Mexico border.

Gonzalez will now face off against Democrat Santos Limon in the November general election.

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