Rep. Gonzales Edges Out Gun Rights Celebrity in Texas Runoff

( – Representative Tony Gonzales (R-TX) is serving his second term in Congress and represents the 23rd District in his state. The Navy veteran decided to run for his spot again but faced strong opposition in the primary from YouTuber Brandon Herrera. The race proceeded to a run-off, which resulted in a narrow victory for the incumbent.

On May 28, Gonzales defeated Herrera by just 407 votes in the 23rd congressional district, with 95% of the votes counted. Texas laws demand a recount because he won the primary by such a small margin. Gonzales celebrated his victory by thanking his constituents and declaring that the “future of America remains as bright as ever.”

If his win holds up to the recount, he will face Democrat Santos Limon for the House seat. Political analysts believe the seat is pretty safe for Republicans, but the voters will decide in November.

Herrera ran on a ticket strongly supporting the Second Amendment. He is referred to as “The AK Guy” because of his adoration of assault rifles. In contrast, Gonzales supported bipartisan gun safety legislation after the tragic Uvalde elementary school massacre — that happened in his district.

Still, conservatives in Texas and his GOP colleagues were reportedly angered about his decision. The incumbent also drew criticism from the hard Right for his support of Ukraine and backing same-sex and interracial marriage.

Ultra-Right lawmakers like Representatives Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and Bob Good (R-VA) were hoping to add to their Freedom Caucus faction by backing Herrera in the race — to no avail. Gonzales was previously quoted as saying how much of an honor it was to serve in Congress, but he worked with some “real scumbags.” He mentioned Gaetz specifically.

Before the Texas lawmaker ran for Congress, he spent 20 years in the US Navy. Gonzales also worked under Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) as a Department of Defense Legislative Fellow, offering his perspective drawn from his years of service.

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