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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 (B.A.)
Texas Wesleyan University (J.D.)
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 that displayed entrepreneurial skills. He went to Roman Catholic School in Corpus Christi for part of his young life. In 11th grade, he dropped out of high school. He returned to school through a G.E.D. and enrolled at Del Mar Junior College, where he received an associate degree in banking and finance.[5][6] And 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 (now the Texas A&M University School of Law), where he obtained his Juris Doctor.

Gonzalez founded his law firm, V. Gonzalez & Associates, in 1997. He was a successful attorney recovering tens of millions of dollars for plaintiffs across the country and was nominated to the "Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum". He is a member of the bar associations of Texas and New York.[7] He is also licensed to practice before the United States Supreme Court.

U.S. House of Representatives


As a newcomer to politics, 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] He won re-election in 2018 with 59.7% percent of the vote.


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] and joined 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 serves 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 Shinzō Abe, and Japanese First Lady Akie Abe. He also met with Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs, Tarō Kōno, as well as U.S. Ambassador to Japan, Bill Hagerty, and other respective government officials.[23]

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]

In Israel has met with Benjamín Netanyahu and in the Palestinian Territories with President Abbas.

In April of 2019, Congressman González traveled to Lebanon & Jordan with the U.N. Foundation. In Lebanon he met with President Michel Aoun as well as Prime Minister Saad Hariri and Speaker of the House Nabih Berri.

In Jordan, the delegation was received at the Royal Palace by Prince Feisal Hussein.

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 to put an end to the longest federal government shutdown in U.S. history.[29]

In January 2020, Gonzalez was awarded the Order of Quetzal by President Morales of Guatemala. While dealing with issues on our southern border, González has regularly engaged Central America leaders since arriving to Congress.

Committee assignments

Caucus memberships


Congressman Vicente Gonzalez received the Order of the Quetzal, an award that acknowledges foreign officials, organizations, and people who have given back to the nation of Guatemala whose artistic, civic, humanitarian, or scientific work merit special recognition, in January 2020.[32]

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.[33] Gonzalez lives in McAllen.[34]

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. ^ Congressman Vicente Gonzalez receives Guatemala's highest honor by Ronnie Marley, CBS4 Valley Central, 20 January 2020
  33. ^ Taylor, Steve (November 22, 2015). "Gonzalez explains why he is running for Congressional District 15". Retrieved November 6, 2016.
  34. ^ Livingston, Abby. "U.S. Rep. Vicente Gonzalez suffers broken back, ordered to bed rest at least four weeks". Texas Tribune. Retrieved May 4, 2020.

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 11 August 2020, at 22:17
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