Vicente Gonzalez
Member of the
U.S. House of Representatives
from Texas
Assumed office
January 3, 2017
Preceded byRubén Hinojosa
Constituency15th district (2017–2023)
34th district (2023–present)
Personal details
Born (1967-09-04) September 4, 1967 (age 56)
Corpus Christi, Texas, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
SpouseLorena Saenz
EducationDel Mar College
Embry–Riddle Aeronautical University (BA)
Texas Wesleyan University (JD)
WebsiteHouse website

Vicente Gonzalez Jr.[1] (/vɪˈsɛnt/; born September 4, 1967) is an American lawyer and politician who serves as the United States representative for Texas's 34th congressional district since 2023 and served as the representative for Texas's 15th congressional district from 2017 to 2023.[2] He is a member of the Democratic Party.

Early life and education

Gonzalez was born in Corpus Christi, Texas, in 1967.[3] He went to Roman Catholic School in Corpus Christi for part of his childhood. In 11th grade, he dropped out of high school. He returned to school through a G.E.D. and enrolled at Del Mar Junior College, where he received an associate degree in banking and finance.[4][5] In 1992, Gonzalez earned his Bachelor of Science in aviation business administration from the Embry–Riddle Aeronautical University on the Corpus Christi Naval Air Station. In 1996, he graduated from Texas Wesleyan University School of Law (now the Texas A&M University School of Law) with a Juris Doctor.

Gonzalez founded his law firm, V. Gonzalez & Associates, in 1997.[citation needed] He is licensed to practice before the United States Supreme Court.[citation needed]

Gonzalez during the 115th Congress

U.S. House of Representatives



See also: 2016 United States House of Representatives elections in Texas § District 15

As a newcomer to politics, Gonzalez declared his candidacy in 2016 for the United States House of Representatives in Texas's 15th congressional district after Rubén Hinojosa, the incumbent representative, announced he would not run for reelection.[6] He won the Democratic Party nomination, defeating Sonny Palacios in the runoff election.[7][8][9] He defeated Republican Tim Westley in the November general election with 57.3% of the vote to Westley's 37.7%.[10]


See also: 2018 United States House of Representatives elections in Texas § District 15

Gonzalez defeated Westley again with 59.7% of the vote to Westley's 38.7%.


See also: 2020 United States House of Representatives elections in Texas § District 15

In 2020, Gonzalez's seat became unexpectedly competitive. He defeated Republican Monica De La Cruz by a narrower margin than he had in his previous two victories, with 50.5% of the vote to Cruz-Hernandez's 47.6%.[11][12]


See also: 2022 United States House of Representatives elections in Texas § District 34

After Texas's redistricting based on the 2020 census, Gonzalez in November 2021 announced that he would run for reelection in the 34th district. The 15th district became more Republican but the neighboring 34th became significantly more Democratic.[13] The Texas state legislature put Gonzalez's residence in the 34th. The incumbent in the 34th district, Filemon Vela Jr., had announced earlier in 2021 that he was not seeking reelection, and would endorse Gonzalez regardless of where he ran. Gonzalez won the district's March 2022 Democratic primary. The Republicans nominated Mayra Flores. After Vela resigned on March 31, 2022, Gonzalez declined to run in and instead endorsed Democrat Dan Sanchez in the consequential special election on June 14, 2022, held in the 34th's older, more competitive boundaries. Flores, however, opted to run in the special election, and won with 50.9% of the vote to Sanchez's 43.4%. As a result, Gonzalez and Flores competed against each other in the November 8 general election, in which Gonzalez defeated Flores to become the next representative for the 34th District.[14] In the same election, Gonzalez's 2020 opponent Monica De La Cruz ran in and won in the redrawn 15th District, making her the successor to Gonzalez for that district.[15]

During the campaign, a blogger who received campaign funds from Gonzalez lobbed racist attacks at Flores, calling her "Miss Frijoles" and "Miss Enchiladas". He accused her of "playing the race card" and called her a "cotton pickin' liar" for having worked in cotton fields with her immigrant parents as a child. Gonzalez said he had never read the blog and was unaware of the blogger's racist commentary, and committed not to give any more campaign money to the blog.[16]


See also: 2024 United States House of Representatives elections in Texas § District 34

Gonzalez is running for re-election in 2024. He faced no opposition in the Democratic primary. He will run against Republican nominee Mayra Flores in the November 2024 general election. Before the Republican primary election, Gonzalez' campaign targeted the weaker primary candidate, Greg Kunkle, in hopes he would become the nominee and make Gonzalez' path to re-election easier. The Gonzalez campaign sent mailers to Republican voters suggesting that Kunkle, who had raised no money and had no staff, would be harder to defeat in November than Flores. Flores, however, was by far the favored Republican candidate in the primary race and had much stronger name recognition and fundraising.[17]

During his 2024 campaign, Gonzalez compared Hispanic Trump supporters to "Jews for Hitler," prompting criticism from Republicans in his mostly Hispanic South Texas district.[18]


Gonzalez was sworn on January 3, 2017.[19]

In January 2019, Gonzalez and other members of the bipartisan U.S. House Problem Solvers Caucus met with President Donald Trump in an unsuccessful bid to end the longest federal government shutdown in U.S. history.[20]

Gonzalez received the Order of the Quetzal in January 2020.[21]

In August 2021, Gonzalez joined a group of conservative Democrats, dubbed "The Unbreakable Nine", who threatened to derail the Biden administration's $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation package meant to tackle the nation's infrastructure.[22][23]

On July 29, 2022, Gonzalez and four other Democrats joined the Republicans in voting against a bill banning assault weapons.[24]

As of January 2023, Gonzalez had voted in line with Joe Biden's stated position 97.4% of the time.[25]

Committee assignments

Caucus memberships

Personal life

Gonzalez's wife, Lorena, is a former teacher and school administrator from McAllen, Texas. His father was a merchant seaman who served in the Korean War.[32] Gonzalez lives in McAllen.[33]

Gonzalez is Roman Catholic.[34]

See also


  1. ^ "". FamilySearch.
  2. ^ "Our District". December 4, 2012.
  3. ^ "Guide to the New Congress" (PDF). Roll Call. Retrieved January 3, 2017.
  4. ^ "Official Congressional Website". December 3, 2012.
  5. ^ O'Reilly, Andrew (April 19, 2016). "Texas lawyer Vicente Gonzalez hopes outsider tag takes him to Capitol Hill". Fox News Latino. Retrieved November 6, 2016.
  6. ^ Politics, Edinburg (November 23, 2015). "Democrat Vicente González announces for Congress to succeed retiring U.S. Rep. Hinojosa". Retrieved November 6, 2016.
  7. ^ "Democratic Party Runoff: Vicente Gonzalez crushes Sonny Palacios in congressional race". May 25, 2016. Retrieved November 6, 2016.
  8. ^ Nelsen, By Aaron (May 25, 2016). "Gonzalez cruises to easy victory in the Democratic primary for open congressional seat; faces GOP opponent in the fall". Mysa. Retrieved November 6, 2016.
  9. ^ LOPEZ, NAXIELY. "Gonzalez takes Dem nomination for Congressional District 15". Retrieved November 6, 2016.
  10. ^ "Texas Election Results". New York Times. November 9, 2016. Retrieved December 6, 2016.
  11. ^ "Texas Election Results - Official Results". Texas Secretary of State. Retrieved November 26, 2020.
  12. ^ Livingston, Abby; Carolan, Kelsey (November 4, 2020). "Texas Republicans fighting off Democrats in battleground congressional races". The Texas Tribune. Retrieved January 3, 2021.
  13. ^ "House Dems head off retirement crisis - for now". Politico. June 26, 2021. Retrieved June 29, 2021.
  14. ^ "Democratic Rep. Vicente Gonzalez defeats GOP candidate Mayra Flores in TX". NBC News. November 9, 2022.
  15. ^ Neukam, Matthew Choi and Stephen (November 9, 2022). "Monica De La Cruz becomes first Republican to win in 15th Congressional District in South Texas". The Texas Tribune.
  16. ^ "Blogger with ties to Vicente Gonzalez lobs racist attack at his congressional opponent Mayra Flores".
  17. ^ Choi, Matthew (February 27, 2024). "U.S. Rep. Vicente Gonzalez wants GOP voters to believe that Mayra Flores is the weaker primary candidate". The Texas Tribune. Retrieved March 21, 2024.
  18. ^ Choi, Matthew (March 14, 2024). "Vicente Gonzalez compares Latino Trump supporters to "Jews for Hitler"". The Texas Tribune. Retrieved March 21, 2024.
  19. ^ Lopez, Naxiely (January 3, 2017). "Newcomer Vicente Gonzalez to be sworn into congress: Pressing issues await the new District 15 representative". The Monitor.
  20. ^ Benning, Tom (January 16, 2019). "Why this Texas Democrat met with Trump amid shutdown fight over border wall". Dallas Morning News. Retrieved June 16, 2021.
  21. ^ Congressman Vicente Gonzalez receives Guatemala's highest honor by Ronnie Marley, CBS4 Valley Central, 20 January 2020
  22. ^ "Already, Cracks Emerge in Rep. Josh Gottheimer's "Unbreakable Nine"". August 25, 2021.
  23. ^ Bouie, Jamelle (August 24, 2021). "Opinion | the 9 Democrats Making Nancy Pelosi's Life Harder Are Making a Big Mistake". The New York Times.
  24. ^ Lee, Ella (July 30, 2022). "Who are the 7 House members who broke with their party in voting on assault weapons ban?". USA Today. Retrieved July 30, 2022.
  25. ^ Bycoffe, Anna Wiederkehr and Aaron (April 22, 2021). "Does Your Member Of Congress Vote With Or Against Biden?". FiveThirtyEight. Retrieved August 16, 2023.
  26. ^ Garcia, Berenice (January 11, 2017). "Gonzalez appointed to powerful House committee: Freshman congressman secures assignment to House Financial Services Committee". The Monitor. Retrieved January 26, 2017.
  27. ^ "Members". Congressional Hispanic Caucus. Retrieved May 15, 2018.
  28. ^ "Members". Blue Dog Coalition. September 6, 2023. Retrieved October 17, 2023.
  29. ^ "Leadership | New Democrat Coalition". Retrieved March 29, 2021.
  30. ^ "Problem Solvers Caucus Announces Membership and Executive Council for the 118th Congress". March 8, 2023. Retrieved March 8, 2023.
  31. ^ "Featured Members". Problem Solvers Caucus. Retrieved March 28, 2021.
  32. ^ Taylor, Steve (November 22, 2015). "Gonzalez explains why he is running for Congressional District 15". Retrieved November 6, 2016.
  33. ^ Livingston, Abby (May 4, 2020). "U.S. Rep. Vicente Gonzalez suffers broken back, ordered to bed rest at least four weeks". Texas Tribune. Retrieved May 4, 2020.
  34. ^ "Religious affiliation of members of 118th Congress" (PDF). Pew Research Center. Archived (PDF) from the original on March 16, 2023.