This post was updated on Thursday, June 25, at 5:55 p.m.
Hoping to succeed Will Hurd as U.S. Representative for the 23rd District of Texas are Republican runoff candidates Tony Gonzales and Raul Reyes.
From a field of nine Republican candidates, retired Navy Master Chief Tony Gonzales and retired U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Raul Reyes Jr. emerged as frontrunners. However, neither candidate received 50% of the vote to clinch the Republican nomination on Super Tuesday.
Gonzales described his patriotism and how he wants to give a voice to those who don’t have one.
“A big part of my message is we live in the greatest country on Earth. We live in America and in America, anything is possible, no matter where you start, you can finish somewhere very different,” he said.
Gonzales added that he wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act and the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, but not mess with the Social Security Program.
“Are there ways that the government can cut spending? Absolutely. And I think every department has a role to play in that. But it's a very difficult discussion, once again, that I think we need members that are pragmatic, that can sit down and have these tough discussions and not be so polarizing,” he said.
The winner of the July 14 runoff will face Democratic challenger Gina Ortiz Jones in the November general election.
Most recently represented by retiring three-term Congressman Will Hurd, the 23rd congressional district encompasses 58,000 square miles from West San Antonio to the outer edges of El Paso and reaches down South to Carrizo Springs.
A true swing district, the 23rd congressional seat was represented by both Republican and Democratic parties in the decade before Hurd took office in 2014.
How do the candidates plan to address the range of constituent needs in the expansive TX-23? What are the biggest issues for the district?
How will they create economic prosperity in the region? Where do they stand on border issues?
What are the Republican candidates' qualifications and motivations for running to represent Texans and constituents of the 23rd District of Texas in Congress?
Early voting in Bexar County is June 29 through July 10. Election Day is July 14. More information here.
Raul Reyes' campaign did not respond to numerous invitations to participate in this Republican runoff candidate forum.
Guest: Tony Gonzales, Republican candidate for the 23rd congressional district of Texas
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*This interview was recorded on Thursday, June 25.
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