Karnes County Sheriff Dwayne Villanueva is leaving the Democrat Party to join the Republican Party.

In the 2020 election, Karnes County voted overwhelmingly Republican, with more than 75 percent of the votes cast in favor of President Donald Trump and U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX). However, when it came to county sheriff, Democrat Villanueva won by more than 30 points, receiving 65.8 percent of the vote. Despite his Democrat designation, Villanueva was already appealing to a largely Republican crowd.

As the Democrat Party continues to alter its priorities and ideologies to suit the woke agenda, Hispanic voters are increasingly swapping parties. Founder and CEO of the United States Hispanic Business Council Javier Palomarez said specifically, “Hispanic people are leaving the Democratic Party and going to the party that has been addressing relevant issues all along.”

So far, Villanueva is the second high-profile elected official to swap parties under Texas GOP Chairman Matt Rinaldi’s term, and the latest in a long string of Hispanic Americans swapping parties.

He has been in law enforcement for almost 30 years, beginning as a jailer for the Karnes County Sheriff Office before winning election as Precinct 3 constable in 2009. Villanueva then ran for sheriff in 2013 and is currently serving his third term as Karnes County sheriff.

Villanueva has an incredible track record of arrests in high-profile cases including that of a serial arsonist, an escaped inmate, a drug dealer with more than seven pounds of methamphetamine, multiple murderers, burglars, and a local police officer caught selling narcotics on duty.

After his announcement, Villanueva said, “I look forward to continuing the strong tradition of excellent law enforcement in Karnes County, which requires us to come together for a common cause and seek out leaders of integrity and merit.”

Republican Party of Texas Chairman Matt Rinaldi said he was “proud to welcome Sheriff Villanueva to the Republican Party. He added, “As Democrats increasingly abandon and cripple law enforcement, it is no wonder more people are turning to the Republican Party.”

Soli Rice

A journalist for Texas Scorecard, Soli is a new Texan with a passion for politics. She's excited to hone her writing skills and help spread truth to Texans.

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