Spriester Sessions: Congressman Tony Gonzales on his contentious Republican primary runoff

U.S. Rep. Tony Gonzales, TX-23, is facing off against Brandon Herrera in a South and West Texas district that is always competitive

Find more election information on the Vote 2024 page.

It is a race unlike any Tony Gonzales has been in before.

Trying to become a third-term Congressman in one of the most frequently contested and largest districts in the country (TX 23), he finds himself in a runoff against an opponent who does most of his talking online.

In this Spriester Sessions, we talk to the Congressman about his experience as an incumbent under attack from his own party, and facing a man he calls a “clown.” Watch in the video at the top of the article.

Tony Gonzales and Brandon Herrera are in a runoff for the US Rep. District 23 GOP nomination. (Copyright 2024 by KSAT - All rights reserved.)

Gonzales was the top vote-getter in the GOP primary in March but didn’t get the 50 percent needed to advance outright to the general election in November.

Herrera, a YouTube personality and gun manufacturer, came in second, setting up the runoff on May 28. Watch also: Spriester Sessions with Brandon Herrera.

Early voting begins Monday, May 20, and election day is Tuesday, May 28.

The district

Gonzales has served as a congressman for the district, which stretches along the border from El Paso to San Antonio, since he was elected in 2020. It includes Uvalde, Fort Stockton, Del Rio, Eagle Pass, Big Bend and more.

. (KSAT)

The Republican congressman, a Navy veteran from San Antonio, was censured by his own party in 2023 over positions he took that split with the party.

Among them includes a vote to reject a border security proposal by fellow Texas Republican Chip Roy, and the support of a bill defending same-sex marriage protections and a bipartisan gun law passed in response to the Robb Elementary shooting in Uvalde.

Gonzales told Spriester he wouldn’t change anything about his voting.

“You look at my voting record. My voting record is very strong on the Constitution. Once again, I swore an oath to the Constitution at 18 years old. And I’ve never stopped doing that right. And I’ve worked really hard to. Go, look, we can protect the Constitution and we can protect our kids. It does not have to be either Or,” he said.

Gonzales has shored up some of his right flank through an endorsement from Governor Greg Abbott last month.

“He represents more than two-thirds of the Texas-Mexico border and knows the dangerous consequences that President Joe Biden’s reckless open border policies have on our state—and our nation,” Abbott said in a statement. “I know Tony will continue the fight in our nation’s capital to designate Mexican drug cartels as terrorists, re-instate the Remain in Mexico policies, and deport people who illegally enter our country.”

More on KSAT:

About the Authors

Steve Spriester started at KSAT in 1995 as a general assignments reporter. Now, he anchors the station's top-rated 5, 6 and 10 p.m. newscasts.

Adam Barraza is a photojournalist at KSAT 12 and an El Paso native. He interned at KVIA, the local ABC affiliate, while still in high school. He then moved to San Antonio and, after earning a degree from San Antonio College and the University of the Incarnate Word, started working in news. He’s also a diehard Dodgers fan and an avid sneakerhead.

Recommended Videos