Ryan Guillen, a Texas State Representative for House District 31, made the announcement in a press conference on Monday.
He won’t cross the aisle immediately but will instead seek reelection in the same south Texas seat.
Guillen blames his switch from the Democrats as being as a result of the party moving further to the left meaning the party’s values no long align with his own citing the ‘Defund the police’ movement and crisis on the border as the catalysts for his sudden departure.
Rep. Ryan Guillen says he is switching parties after Republicans made inroads in South Texas and redistricting made his district much more favorable to the GOP
‘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,’ Governor Abbott 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,’ Guillen explained.
‘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,’ he continued.
‘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.
‘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.’
Guillen also says he is switching parties after Republicans made inroads in South Texas and redistricting made his district much more favorable to the GOP at the next election.
Republican Gov. Greg Abbott and Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan were both present at the announcement.
‘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,’ Governor Abbott said. Guillen, who has served in the Texas House for almost two decades, won his seat by almost 17 points in 2020.
‘John Lujan’s upset victory earlier this month in a district with a majority Hispanic population already proved that Texans are fed up with the failures of Democratic leadership and Ryan Guillen’s party switch makes that fact all the more clear,’ Republican State Leadership Committee (RSLC) president Dee Duncan said in a statement on Monday.
Guillen blames the ‘Defund the police’ movement as part of the reasons for his GOP move
‘Today’s Democrat leaders are so focused on appeasing their fringe-left base by putting teachers’ unions ahead of parents, pushing socialist tax and spending schemes, and fighting for open border policies, that even elected officials in their own party cannot support their radical agenda anymore,’ Duncan continued.
Guillen’s campaign says the representative’s voting record was the most conservative of any elected Democrat in the state House in 2021 reports KXAN.
Guillen faced criticism from the Texas Democratic Party chairman Gilberto Hinojosa who accused him of simply making the switch in a desperate attempt to hold onto his job.
‘We’re disappointed to see him selling his soul and selling out South Texans, but we’re excited to clear the field for a real Democrat to run — one we can count on to show up for our families and put Texans first,’ Hinojosa responded.
‘Texas Democrats will keep standing up for our values and fighting to fix the biggest problems facing Texas families — whether it’s fixing our disaster-prone power grid, getting more people healthcare, or making sure working Texans have a real chance to get ahead.’
‘That’s clearly not a priority for Rep. Guillen. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out,’ he added.
‘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,’ Rep. Ryan Guillen said