Governor Greg Abbott
Texas Governor Greg Abbott endorsed Rep. Tony Gonzales VERONICA CARDENAS/Reuters

Texas Governor Greg Abbott delved into a political tussle within the Republican party, endorsing Representative Tony Gonzales, who represents a state district and has been at odds with a faction of the party.

The Texas Tribune reported that Abbott praised Gonzales for fighting for border security measures in Congress. "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," he added.

Gonzales made the headlines this week as a result of his verbal clash with the more right-wing faction of the Republican party, whose members he chastised for opposing the foreign aid bills for Israel, Taiwan and Ukraine, especially the former. They did so arguing that border security measures needed to be passed before focusing on that subject.

"It didn't surprise me that some of these folks voted against aid to Israel," he said in an interview with CNN.

Gonzales went on to single out two lawmakers who have also endorsed Brandon Herrera, a YouTuber focused on guns activism who is challenging in a primary this year.

"It's my absolute honor to be in Congress, but I serve with some real scumbags like [Florida Congressman] Matt Gaetz. He paid minors to have sex with them at drunk parties," Gonzales said. He also called out Rep. Bob Good, chair of the House Freedom Caucus, and criticized him for endorsing Herrera, who he called a "known neo-Nazi."

U.S. Rep. Tony Gonzales US Congress

Freedom Caucus members were quick to pick up the glove, with Rep. Eli Crane from Arizona saying that it was "pathetic" to call other lawmakers klansmen. He went on to endorse Herrera in the district's primary. His statements were echoed by other representatives, including Bob Good, the House Freedom Caucus' chair.

Herrera, on his end, sought to ride the wave saying Gonzales' statements were an act of desperation because he's concerned about losing the primary. "This is the death spiral ladies and gentlemen," Herrera said on social media.

Abbott's endorsement of Gonzales could help him fend off some of the attacks. According to a poll by the Hobby School of Public Affairs at the University of Houston, Abbott's endorsement was the second-most influential in the state House races, only behind Donald Trump's.

This is not Gonzales' first clash with other factions of the party. The representative was censored by Texas' Republicans after supporting a bipartisan gun safety bill following the mass shooting at Uvalde's Robb Elementary School, which is located in his district.

This also helped create an opening for many to challenge him in party primaries. After he failed to get over 50% of the votes to avoid a runoff, he is set to face Herrera, a self-described "Second Amendment activist."

© 2024 Latin Times. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.