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Gonzales and state legislator who impeached AG win Texas runoffs

Cuellar to face Navy veteran as he defends seat while under indictment

Rep. Tony Gonzales, R-Texas, won a primary runoff on Tuesday against a gun rights activist.
Rep. Tony Gonzales, R-Texas, won a primary runoff on Tuesday against a gun rights activist. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Texas Republicans narrowly backed an incumbent who supported a bipartisan gun violence prevention measure and overwhelmingly supported a legislator who angered the state attorney general in runoff elections Tuesday.

Voters also picked a political newcomer to take on Democratic Rep. Henry Cuellar, who was indicted on May 3 on bribery and money laundering charges. 

In an open seat in the 12th District, state Rep. Craig Goldman, chairman of the Republican caucus in the Texas House, defeated John O’Shea. Goldman had the support of Gov. Greg Abbott, while O’Shea was endorsed by Ken Paxton, the state attorney general who Goldman voted to impeach last year. 

Goldman had 64 percent of the vote at 9:30 p.m. when The Associated Press called the race.

Goldman will face Democrat Trey Hunt in November. The district, which Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales rates Solid Republican, is centered on Fort Worth and has been represented by Republican Rep. Kay Granger since 1997.

In the 23rd District, Rep. Tony Gonzales faced a scare but turned back a challenge from fellow Republican Brandon Herrera, a social media influencer and a Second Amendment “absolutist.”

Unoffficial results tallied by the AP had Gonzales ahead by 407 votes, or 1.4 percentage points, in the low-turnout race, which was called at 1:05 a.m. Eastern time.

Herrera had the backing of several prominent House hard-liners, including Reps. Matt Gaetz of Florida and Bob Good of Virginia. Following those endorsements, Gonzales told CNN that he serves with “some real scumbags” in Congress.

The race has drawn outside spending, including more than $1 million targeting Herrera from United Democracy Project, a super PAC aligned with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. The money has paid for ads attacking Herrera for glorifying Nazis and mocking the Holocaust on his YouTube channel.

Gonzales voted in favor of bipartisan legislation that aims to address gun violence by incentivizing states to pass red flag laws and expand background checks for those between 18 and 21 years old who are seeking to purchase a firearm, among other provisions. The measure was approved following a mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, which is in the 23rd District. 

Gonzales was censured by the Texas Republican Party following that vote as well as his support for a measure codifying same-sex marriage at the federal level.

“The future of America remains as bright as ever,” Gonzales wrote on X over a photo of him leading children by the hand. “Thank you #TX23 for continuing to place your faith in me.”

Gonzales faces Democrat Santos Limon in November. The race is rated Solid Republican.

In the 28th District, Republicans chose Navy veteran Jay Furman rather than rancher Lazaro Garza to take on Cuellar in November. 

Furman had 64 percent of the vote when the AP called the race at 9:03 p.m. Eastern time.

Cuellar has represented the district, which reaches from the outskirts of San Antonio to the U.S.-Mexico border, since 2005. Inside Elections changed its rating on the race from Solid to Likely Democratic after the indictment.

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