Navy veteran joins race for 23rd District seat


Since Congressman Will Hurd will not be seeking reelection, seven people are running for the position. Tony Gonzales being one of them.

The Republican candidate is taking his first shot at politics after serving the last 20 years in the Navy.

He is running for the Texas 23rd Congressional District which covers Brewster, Crane, Crockett, Culberson, Dimmit, Edwards, Frio, Hudspeth, Jeff Davis, Kinney, Loving, Maverick, Medina, Pecos, Presido, Reagan, Reeves, Schleicher, Sutton, Terrell, Upton, Uvalde, Val Verde, Ward, Winkler and Zavala Counties. Areas of Bexar, El Paso and La Salle Counties are also included.

The Texas 23rd District is the ninth largest United States Congressional District by area spanning 58,059 square miles.

Gonzales said he grew up in a mixture of urban and rural, which gives him a good grasp on the communities he would be serving.

He joined the Navy when he was 18-years-old and retired on July 31.

He said when he joined he did not even have a high school diploma, but retired as an E9 or Master Chief Petty Officer and is finishing his PhD.

While in the Navy he worked as a defense fellow for Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and saw how working in Washington, D.C. changed people.

He said he believes in God, free enterprise, limited government and preventing a socialist movement.

“I want to keep the district conservative,” said Gonzales.

Being a military veteran he said he cares about veteran affairs, border security, national security and the country.

“You have to be firm in your principles,” he said.

He is also the founder of the “Tony Gonzales Foundation” which is a non-profit focused on empowering and encouraging growth and development in impoverished areas of San Antonio.

Since he is new to campaigning he has been spending his time knocking on doors, registering new voters and raising funds.

In the last 30 days he said he has raised over $100,000.

“My goal is reaching people,” he said. “You need to be present and available for people.”

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The Fort Stockton Pioneer will have more information on the other candidates as they come to town.