Tony Gonzales Wins Primary Despite GOP Opposition


Rep. Tony Gonzales (R-TX) has successfully navigated his high-profile primary election, positioning himself to secure a third term in his Texas House seat while fending off a far-right challenger endorsed by many of his GOP colleagues in the lower chamber.

Gonzales defeated challenger Brandon Herrera by securing 50.7% of the vote with 95% of the ballots counted. The Associated Press declared Gonzales the winner in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

Gonzales’s win concludes a months-long contentious primary that divided the GOP, with some Texas Republicans in the House backing his challenger to unseat him. Given that Texas’s 23rd Congressional District is firmly Republican, the primary victor was expected to be the frontrunner in the November election.

Herrera, a gun rights advocate known as the “AK Guy” and a hard-right YouTuber, took on Gonzales after he broke party lines in 2022 to support a bill enhancing gun safety laws. This measure was a response to the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, which lies in Gonzales’s district.

This vote prompted Herrera to challenge Gonzales, telling gun rights supporters earlier this year, “if you vote against our interests, if you vote against gun rights, if you vote against the Constitution … we will challenge you, we will primary you and we will win. We will take your f***ing job.”

Herrera was backed by Reps. Matt Gaetz, Bob Good (R-VA), Ralph Norman (R-SC), and Eli Crane (R-AZ). Gonzales enjoyed the support of Gov. Greg Abbott and House GOP leadership, including Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA).

Gonzales remained confident in his reelection prospects despite some of his Republican peers actively campaigning against him, even warning that such actions would have consequences.

“Here’s the deal: If somebody backs your opponent and goes to your district and does events [and] are giving your opponent money — they are trying to kill you politically. And you better believe them,” Gonzales told the Truth Voices in an interview last week. “So your only option is to kill them politically. So I think there’s focus on Tuesday, and then we’re going to do a little purging of ourselves of our own.”

Gonzales will compete against Democratic candidate Santos Limon in the November election. The district has an R+5 rating and is anticipated to lean Republican.

Cami Mondeaux
Cami Mondeaux
Congressional Reporter. A Utah native, Cami graduated from Westminster College in Salt Lake City in 2021 and covered state government as a breaking news reporter for KSL News Radio.

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