Nuevo Culture

Meet the Mexican Lawyer Who Wants to Unseat Ted Cruz in Next Election

For former Nueces County district attorney Mark Gonzalez, the end goal is taking Texas Senator Ted Cruz’s job in 2024. On Tuesday (September 5), Gonzalez announced that he would enter the Democratic primary in hopes of challenging Cruz for his Senate seat.

Gonzalez’s campaign began with him resigning from his position as DA of his South Texas county. According to the Texas Tribune, local conservative activists had been working to remove Gonzalez from office for months. They accuse him of “incompetency, official misconduct, and failure to give bond.”

Early last year, Gonzalez was one of five Texas DAs who pledged not to pursue criminal charges related to abortion if Roe v. Wade was ultimately overturned. Conservative Texas legislators hit back and passed Senate Bill 20, which forbids prosecutors from refusing to prosecute certain crimes, including abortion. If they refused under the new law, it would be considered “official misconduct,” and they could be removed from office.

“I was such a threat they tried to remove me from office,” Gonzalez said in an announcement video. “Now, it became clear to me — and to all of us — that there isn’t one of us, a real American, in Washington, representing real Americans.”

Gonzalez, who described himself in a 2018 profile for Politico as a “Mexican biker lawyer covered in tattoos,” is joining an already packed Democratic primary, which includes U.S. Rep. Colin Allred and state Sen. Roland Gutierrez.

Gonzalez’s resignation letter to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott stated that would not be a “sacrificial lamb to send a foreboding message to other duly elected DAs in Texas who exercise their discretion.”