Gonzales fends off hardline GOP challenger in Texas House runoff



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Rep. Tony Gonzales (R-Texas) is projected to survive a challenge on his right and win the GOP primary in Texas’s 23rd Congressional District, according to Decision Desk HQ. 

Gonzales narrowly defeated YouTuber and guns enthusiast Brandon Herrera in the Republican contest for his congressional seat, which runs from San Antonio to El Paso. The Texas Republican had been forced into a runoff after he was unable to win at least half of the vote outright in the initial March GOP primary. 

Prominent conservatives had backed Gonzales’ challenger, including House Freedom Caucus Chair Bob Good (R-Va.) and Reps. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) and Eli Crane (R-Ariz.). Meanwhile, House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.), Gov. Greg Abbott (R), and Texas GOP Reps. Ronny Jackson and Jake Ellzey, among others, endorsed Gonzales.  

Gonzales, who replaced former Rep. Will Hurd (R-Texas) beginning in 2021, has diverged against hardliners on several issues, including opposing including a warrant requirement in a U.S. spy program and for voting in favor of Johnson’s foreign aid package.

The Texas GOP voted to censure the congressman last May over his support for several pieces of legislation, including the bipartisan gun safety law and Respect for Marriage Act.  

But Gonzales’s win delivers the latest blow to hardliners who have sought to pick off moderate Republicans in primaries. Good had also backed a challenger to Rep. Don Bacon (R-Neb.), though Bacon was expected to prevail in that primary anyway.  

At the same time, other hardliners are fighting for their political life, especially Good. Trump endorsed his primary challenger on Tuesday.  



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