‘Glad you finally came out of the closet’: Gov. Abbott on Texas Rep. Ryan Guillen switching parties

Texas Politics

FLORESVILLE, Texas (KXAN) — On Monday, Texas Governor Greg Abbott joined Texas House Rep. Ryan Guillen, formerly a Democrat representing District 31, as Guillen announced he’d seek re-election as a Republican.

From Floresville, Texas, Abbott commended Guillen for the move, saying Democratic policies no longer represent the values of the Hispanic community in south Texas. Additionally, Abbott said: “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.”

Several people in the room laughed at the comment. Modern usage of “coming out of the closet” is typically used to signify an LGBTQ person’s acknowledgement of their identity to friends and family.

“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 Monday. “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’s campaign says the representative’s voting record was the most conservative of any elected Democrat in the state House in 2021, according to a Rice University survey.

Guillen said in his announcement that he stands against “Washington D.C. Democrats” values, including “defunding the police, destroying the oil and gas industry, and opening our border has disastrous consequences for those of us who live in south Texas.”

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