Texas State Representative Ryan Guillén announced Monday that he will leave the Democratic Party to join the Republican Party.
“After much consideration and prayer with my family, I feel that my fiscally conservative, pro-business, and pro-life values are no longer in tune with today’s Democratic Party, and I am proudly running as a Republican to represent the House. of Representatives. District 31, ”Guillén said in a statement, according to the Texas Tribune.
The state legislator, who was first elected to the Texas House of Representatives in 2002, made the measure official during an in-person announcement Monday morning along with the Texas governor. Greg abbottGreg Abbott Astroworld death toll rises to 10 after 9-year-old dies from injuries The Republican Party sees an advantage as redistricting comes halfway The abortion access crisis in Texas will only get worse without a federal action PLUS (R) and the Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives, Dade Phelan (R).
“Folks, something is happening in South Texas, and many of us are waking up to the fact that the values of those in Washington, DC, are not the values of the majority of Texans.” #txlege pic.twitter.com/x1MjDZExan
– Patrick Svitek (@PatrickSvitek) November 15, 2021
Guillen’s move came after Republican-led Lone Star state redistricting transformed the legislator’s district, already leaning toward the Republican Party, into reliable red territory, the Tribune noted.
According to ideological rankings By Mark Jones, a political scientist at Rice University’s James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy, Guillen was the least liberal Democrat in the Texas caucus. The ranking was released earlier this month.
Guillen did not join most of his colleagues as he left Texas for Washington, DC over the summer amid the intense battle by the legislature over a comprehensive electoral bill, according to the Tribune. Members of the caucus were absent for about two months, in an effort to deny Republicans the quorum they needed to call a special legislative session and address the controversial bill.
Guillén also parted ways with his party last month when he voted in favor of a bill that sought to ban transgender student athletes from joining teams that correlated with their gender identities, according to the Tribune. He was the only Democrat to vote for the measure, which was eventually passed and enacted by Abbott.
Texas House Democratic Caucus Chairman Chris Turner (D) struck Guillen in a statement after news broke of his departure from the party, questioning his willingness to fight Republican redistricting.
“Republicans cynically gutted Representative Guillén’s district in the redistricting process, showing a total lack of respect for both him and his constituents. Usually people in Ryan’s position would choose to fight. Instead, he has chosen to join them, ”wrote Turner.
He also expressed doubts about the legislator’s belief in republican principles.
“Reps. Guillen likely doesn’t believe the Republican talking points he’s repeating today, but he thinks they can help him get elected again. Ryan has been running for office and elected as a Democrat for 19 years. He has supported many priorities. key Democrats like expanding Medicaid and investing in public education, while opposing the so-called ‘electoral integrity’ bill, ”Turner said.
“It will be interesting to see how you explain your voter record to your new party, given the Republicans’ hostility to affordable health care and the freedom to vote,” he added.
Federal Representative Vicente González (D-Texas), who represents a congressional district neighboring Guillén’s state House district, said the news that Guillén left the party was “sad,” pointing to redistricting in the state.
“As sad as it is, that’s the only way he could have continued to represent his community,” González said.
President of the Republican National Committee Ronna McDanielRonna Romney McDanielGOP Sees Inflation Winning Topic 12:30 PM Report From The Hill: All Eyes On Rittenhouse Homicide Trial Trump Backed Out On Threat To Leave Republican Party – Book MORE She welcomed the news of Guillén’s party change, and wrote in a statement that she is “proud to welcome State Representative Ryan Guillén to the Republican Party.”
“The Republican Party is the party of faith, freedom, and opportunity, and we will continue to uphold these ideals in Texas and across the country. With pioneers like Representative Guillén, we will continue to make progress in South Texas and grow the party on our path to ballot victories in 2022, ”he added.
Rafael Bernal contributed to this report.