The southern border of the United States in Texas is still seeing thousands of migrants crossing daily. The destruction this mass illegal immigration causes is the catalyst for a red-leaning but still Democrat area to turn officially red. State Representative Ryan Guillen is known as a “longtime Democrat” in Texas politics until now.
According to the Texas Tribune, Rep. Guillen announced in a joint press conference on Monday, November 15, with Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Texas Speaker of the House Dade Phelan. Guillen said he no longer identifies with the “values” of the Democrat Party.
“Friends, 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 our values, not the values of most Texans,” Guillen told the press. The Texas Representative highlighted the Democrat campaign promises to defund the police, abandon oil and gas, and welcome mass illegal immigration as his reasoning for walking away from the Democrat Party.
Democrats are looking to turn Texas blue despite massive shifts in the Hispanic community toward Republican officials. But Rep. Guillen’s decision to seek re-election under the protection of the GOP instead of the Democrats speaks volumes to where South Texas voters are aligning.
Texas head of the House Democratic Caucus released a statement attempting to blame the recent redistricting on Rep. Guillen’s decision to switch to the Republican Party.
“Republicans cynically gutted Rep. Guillen’s district in the redistricting process, showing complete disrespect for both him and his constituents. Usually, people in Ryan’s position would choose to fight. Instead, he has chosen to join them,” said Rep. Turner.
“Rep. Guillen probably doesn’t believe the Republican talking points he is repeating today, but he thinks they may help him get elected again. Ryan has run for office and been elected as a Democrat for 19 years. He has supported many key Democratic priorities, such as Medicaid expansion and investments in public education, while also opposing the so-called ‘election integrity’ bill,” “narked Turner. “It will be interesting to see how he explains his voting record to his nRepublicans’ven Republicans’ hostility to affordable health care and the freedom to vote.”
Gov. Abbott defended Guillen’s decision to switch parties, saying it was in the works long before redistricting made his district more conservative. Abbott said their ten-year courtship of Guillen was the Texas legislature’s “worst kept secret.”
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