A Texas House Democrat changed parties and he received a strong congratulation from Governor Greg Abbott. On Monday, Texas House Representative Ryan Guillen was joined by Abbott as he announced he was seeking re-election as a Republican instead of a Democrat. Guillen was elected as a Democrat representing District 31.
Governor Abbott said:
“This has been the worst kept secret at the Capitol. Everyone has known that Ryan Guillen is really a Republican who is attached to the wrong label. Ryan: we’re glad you finally came out of the closet.”
Several people laughed after Governor Abbott said “Came out of the closet.”
Coming out of the closet is a term used to show that a person has announced they are LGBTQ.
Governor Abbott and House Speaker Dade Phelan from Beaumont joined Guillen at the news conference.
On Monday morning, the Texas Tribune reported Ryan Guillen said:
"Friends, something is happening in South Texas, and many of us are waking up to the fact that the values of those in Washington, D.C., are not our values, not the values of most Texans. The ideology of defunding the police, of destroying the oil and gas industry, and the chaos at our border is disastrous for those of us who live here in South Texas."
KXAN reported that Guillen:
“Throughout my entire career, creating a prosperous business climate, defending the second amendment, and protecting the lives of the unborn are the cornerstones of how I have represented my district,” Guillen said Monday. “After much consideration and prayer with my family, I feel that my fiscally conservative, pro-business, and pro-life values are no longer in-step with the Democrat Party of today, and I am proudly running as a Republican to represent House District 31.”
According to a Rice University Study, Guillen’s voting record was the most conservative amongst Texas Democrats in 2021.
The Representative added that, “Washington D.C. Democrats” values, including “defunding the police, destroying the oil and gas industry, and opening our border has disastrous consequences for those of us who live in south Texas.”
The last Texas lawmaker to change parties was Representative J.M. Lozano, R-Kingsville, in 2012. He was a Democrat who changed parties after redistricting.
There are 150 members in the Texas House of Representatives who meet in Austin, Texas. According to the Legislative Reference Library of Texas, the House had 82 Republicans and 67 Democrats that represent Texans.
Here is the statement Guillen released.