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Vicente Gonzalez (politician)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Vicente Gonzalez
Vicente Gonzalez 115th congress photo.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Texas's 15th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2017
Preceded byRubén Hinojosa
Personal details
Born (1967-09-04) September 4, 1967 (age 52)
Corpus Christi, Texas, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Lorena 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 attorney and politician serving as the United States Representative for the 15th District of Texas [2]. He is a member of the Democratic Party. His district includes Brooks, Duval, Guadalupe, Jim Hogg, Karnes, and Live Oak counties as well as portions of Hidalgo and Wilson counties [3].

Gonzalez won the 2016 general election and took office on January 3, 2017. Gonzalez was re-elected to serve a second term in the 116th Congress, taking his oath of office on January 3, 2019.

Early life

Gonzalez was born in Corpus Christi, Texas, in 1967.[4] Gonzalez grew up in a working-class family, often working odd jobs and displaying entrepreneurial skills at a young age[citation needed]. He went to Roman Catholic School in Corpus Christi for part of his young life and eventually dropped out of high school during his junior year. He obtained a G.E.D. and returned to school by enrolling at Del Mar Junior College, where he received an associate degree in banking and finance.[5][6]

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. After high school and throughout college, Gonzalez traveled to almost 100 countries around the world.[citation needed] In 1996, Gonzalez graduated from Texas Wesleyan University School of Law, where he obtained his Juris Doctor. While a law student, he interned for the United States Congress. Gonzalez trained in negotiation at Harvard Law School. He founded his law firm, V. Gonzalez & Associates, in 1997. He is a member of the bar associations of Texas and New York.[7]

As an attorney, Gonzalez recovered millions of dollars for businesses, homeowners and public schools throughout the country[citation needed]. Prior to his election to the U.S. House of Representatives, Gonzalez was a successful plaintiffs attorney in Texas and New York.[citation needed] He is eligible to practice law in Texas, New York and before the U.S. Supreme Court.[citation needed]

U.S. House of Representatives

2016 campaign

Gonzalez declared his candidacy for the 2016 elections 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.[8] He won the Democratic Party nomination, defeating Sonny Palacios in the runoff election.[9][10][11] He defeated Republican Tim Westley in the November general election, winning 57.3% of the vote to Westley's 37.7%.[12]


Gonzalez was sworn in January 3, 2017.[13]

At the start of his career in Congress, he was appointed to the House Financial Services Committee[14] the Blue Dog Coalition,[15] and the Problem Solvers Caucus.[16] In June 2017, Gonzalez announced the formation of the Congressional Oil & Gas Caucus[17] and will be serving as its chair. He is also a member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, the Congressional Small Business Caucus, and the Congressional Blue Collar Caucus.[18] In the 116th Congress, he serves on the Subcommittees on Investor Protection, Entrepreneurship, and Capital Markets; Housing, Community Development, and Insurance; and Diversity and Inclusion.[19] In the 116th Congress, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi granted him a waiver to jointly serve on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.[20] Congressman Gonzalez is a member of the Subcommittees on the Western Hemisphere, Civilian Security, and Trade; and Europe, Eurasia, Energy, and the Environment.[21]

During his first six months in office, Gonzalez brought Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi to the Rio Grande Valley. He was also the first Texas Democrat and first Latino in Congress to be invited by President Donald Trump to a private dinner at the White House.[22]

In the 115th Congress, Gonzalez participated in bipartisan and bicameral congressional delegations to a variety of countries around the globe. In Japan, he met with Japanese Prime Minister, H.E. Shinzo Abe, and Japanese First Lady, Akie Abe. He also met with Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs, Taro Kono, as well as U.S. Ambassador to Japan, Bill Hagerty, and other respective government officials.[23] In Guatemala, he met with President Jimmy Morales. In Mexico, he met with the Chief of Staff to President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, Alfonso Romo; Mexican Undersecretary of Foreign Trade, Juan Carlos Baker; and Former Secretary of the Economy, Ildefonso Guajardo Villarreal.[24] In China, he met with Vice-Premier of the State Council of the People's Republic of China, Liu He. In South Korea, he met with members of the U.S. Army, stationed at Camp Humphreys, located within the seaport City of Pyeongtaek.[25] In December 2018, he joined the U.S. delegation attending the Inauguration of Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.[26]

Since taking office, Gonzalez has spent every Thanksgiving with members of the U.S. Armed Forces stationed overseas. He spent the holiday with troops stationed in Afghanistan in 2017,[27] and in Kuwait and Djibouti in 2018.[28]

In January 2019, Gonzalez was one of seven Democratic lawmakers to meet with President Donald Trump and the Administration to put an end to the longest federal government shutdown in U.S. history.[29]

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 marine who served in the Korean War.[32]

See also


  1. ^ Texas Birth Index record
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ [2]
  4. ^ "Guide to the New Congress" (PDF). Roll Call. Retrieved January 3, 2017.
  5. ^ "Official Congressional Website".
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ "Local Attorney and Small Business Owner Seeks to Build Upon the Legacy of Retiring Representative Rubén Hinojosa – My Harlingen News". Retrieved November 6, 2016.
  8. ^ Politics, Edinburg (November 23, 2015). "Democrat Vicente González announces for Congress to succeed retiring U.S. Rep. Hinojosa". Retrieved November 6, 2016.
  9. ^ News, CBS 4. "Democratic Party Runoff: Vicente Gonzalez crushes Sonny Palacios in congressional race". Retrieved November 6, 2016.
  10. ^ "Gonzalez cruises to easy victory in the Democratic primary for open congressional seat; faces GOP opponent in the fall". Retrieved November 6, 2016.
  11. ^ LOPEZ, NAXIELY. "Gonzalez takes Dem nomination for Congressional District 15". Retrieved November 6, 2016.
  12. ^ "Texas Election Results". New York Times. November 9, 2016. Retrieved December 6, 2016.
  13. ^ Lopez, Naxiely (January 3, 2017). "Newcomer Vicente Gonzalez to be sworn into congress: Pressing issues await the new District 15 representative". The Monitor.
  14. ^ "Committee Membership - U.S. House of Representatives".
  15. ^ "Members". Blue Dog Coalition. Retrieved February 7, 2018.
  16. ^ "Congressman Vicente Gonzalez Invited to Join PROBLEM SOLVERS Caucus". February 7, 2017.
  17. ^ "Congressman Gonzalez Starts Oil & Gas Caucus in House of Representatives". June 22, 2017.
  18. ^ Missing or empty |title= (help)
  19. ^ Missing or empty |title= (help)
  21. ^ Missing or empty |title= (help)
  22. ^ "President Trump Invites Congressman Gonzalez to White House". Congressman Vicente Gonzalez. June 14, 2017. Retrieved July 6, 2017.
  29. ^ "Hope remains as Gonzalez, bipartisan group meet with Trump on shutdown".
  30. ^ 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.
  31. ^ "Members". Congressional Hispanic Caucus. Retrieved May 15, 2018.
  32. ^ Taylor, Steve (November 22, 2015). "Gonzalez explains why he is running for Congressional District 15". Retrieved November 6, 2016.

External links

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Rubén Hinojosa
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Texas's 15th congressional district

U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Mike Gallagher
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Josh Gottheimer
This page was last edited on 22 October 2019, at 11:38
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