The number of candidates vying to defeat U.S. Rep. Tony Gonzales of San Antonio is growing, after he was officially censured by the Republican Party of Texas.

On Tuesday, former ICE special agent Victor Avila announced his intention to challenge Gonzales in the 2024 Republican primary for Congressional District 23, citing his failure to vote with congressional Republicans on key issues.

“The current congressman who represents much of the Texas-Mexico border actually worked against the Republican border security bill. Then he voted against legislation to protect conservative family values. And again, he voted to strip law-abiding Americans of the right to bear arms,” said Avila.

“We need a real Republican who has the courage to speak up and defend our conservative values and who is willing to work with Republican colleagues to fix our country,” he added.

Avila has previously unsuccessfully run for land commissioner in 2022.

Last week, the State Republican Executive Committee censured Gonzales for showing a lack of fidelity to Republican principles and priorities.

The final vote by the SREC was 57 in favor and five opposed, with one abstention.

The censure means Gonzales will be subject to the full penalties prescribed by the rules of the Texas GOP, which include a prohibition on spending by the party in his race as well as authorization to spend up to 12 percent of the party’s general fund to educate voters in his district about the censure.

Avila joins Medina County GOP Chair Julia Clark, who announced her candidacy on Monday, with additional announcements expected soon.

Brandon Waltens

Brandon serves as the Senior Editor for Texas Scorecard. After managing successful campaigns for top conservative legislators and serving as a Chief of Staff in the Texas Capitol, Brandon moved outside the dome in order to shine a spotlight on conservative victories and establishment corruption in Austin. @bwaltens


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