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Gonzales and state representative who initiated impeachment proceedings against AG win runoff elections in Texas

Texas Republicans narrowly backed an incumbent who championed a bipartisan gun violence prevention measure in Tuesday's runoff election, and overwhelmingly backed a lawmaker who angered the state's attorney general.

Voters also chose a political newcomer to oppose Democratic Rep. Henry Cuellar, who was charged with bribery and money laundering on May 3.

In an open seat in the 12th District, state Rep. Craig Goldman, leader of the Republican caucus in the Texas House of Representatives, defeated John O'Shea. Goldman had the backing of Gov. Greg Abbott, while O'Shea was backed by Ken Paxton, the attorney general whose impeachment Goldman ordered last year.

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

Goldman will face Democrat Trey Hunt in November. The district, which Inside Elections classifies as “solidly Republican” along with Nathan L. Gonzales, is located in Fort Worth and has been represented by Republican Representative Kay Granger since 1997.

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

According to unofficial results obtained by the AP, Gonzales led the low-turnout race, which was called at 1:05 a.m. Eastern Time, by 407 votes, or 1.4 percentage points.

Herrera had the backing of several prominent hardliners in the House, including Reps. Matt Gaetz of Florida and Bob Good of Virginia. Following those statements of support, Gonzales told CNN he was working with “some real scumbags” in Congress.

The campaign has attracted outside donors, including more than $1 million targeted at Herrera by the United Democracy Project, a super PAC linked to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. The money was used to finance ads attacking Herrera for glorifying Nazis and mocking the Holocaust on his YouTube channel.

Gonzales voted for bipartisan legislation aimed at combating gun violence that would, among other things, encourage states to adopt red flags and expand background checks for people between the ages of 18 and 21 who want to purchase a firearm. The measure was approved after a mass shooting at a Uvalde elementary school in the 23rd District.

Following that vote, Gonzales was censured by the Republican Party in Texas, as well as for his support of a measure to codify same-sex marriage at the federal level.

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

In November, Gonzales will face Democrat Santos Limon. The race is considered a solid Republican decision.

In the 28th District, Republicans chose Marine veteran Jay Furman instead of rancher Lazaro Garza to run against Cuellar in November.

When AP called the race at 9:03 p.m. Eastern Time, Furman had 64 percent of the vote.

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

Anna Harden

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