Texas Political Dynasty to End

Saturday, 26 Nov 2011 12:22 PM

By Gary Cohen

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Having sucessfully followed in his father's footsteps, Rep. Charlie Gonzalez, D-Texas, has decided to step aside after more than a decade representing the San Antonio area on Capitol Hill and chairing the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.

According to his office, Gonzalez is making it official at an event in San Antonio today.

His father Henry had served in Congress from 1961 to 1998, leaving the Hill due to health reasons. He passed away two years later.

The 66 year old Gonzalez is making the decision to retire at a time when a new political landscape appears likely to take hold in Texas.

Late Friday, a federal court ruled it would not block a congressional district map.

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, a Republican, had asked the San Antonio-based court to stay the implementation of the map it drew up and now Abbott says he intends to appeal to the United States Supreme Court.

In its argument to the federal court, the Texas state government, led by Republican Gov. Rick Perry argued, "The court's job is to apply the law, not to make policy."

"A federal court lacks the constitutional authority to interfere with the expressed will of the state Legislature unless it is compelled to remedy a specific, identifiable violation of law," according to court documents.

That new map takes away the downtown portion of the district Gonzalez represents but he told the San Antonio Express-News that is not the reason for his retiring.

"I still find the job hugely rewarding but the demands pull me somewhere else," he said.

Gonzalez aded, " I want to do something else. What that is, I really don't know."

His decision could lead to a new dynasty.

Texas State Rep. Joaquin Castro's office says he would compete for the 20th Congressional District Gonzalez will be vacating when his term expires next year.

His twin brother Juan is the mayor of San Antonio.

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