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A Texas change of heart or a last-ditch effort to remain in office?

On Monday, Rep. Ryan Guillen of Rio Grande City decided to change his political party. He has been a Democrat representative and has been rated as the most conservative Democrat in 4 of his 5 terms in office. He decided to join Republicans on Monday.

Guillen had voted for the pro-life fetal heartbeat bill. He had also voted for gun rights and refused to vote against the election law that Republicans passed recently. This was the reasoning that many Republicans used as their support for Guillen in his party transition.

Several Republicans spoke out calling him a colleague and that his conservative voting history would welcome him to the Republican ranks. But that is certainly not the reasoning that the Democrats see for his move.

Texas House Democratic Caucus Chairman Chris Turner (D-Grand Prairie) said that the move by Guillen was nothing more than responsive to Republicans redistricting. He said that Republicans had gutted Guillen’s district, so he chose to join them instead of fighting them.

The Democrats will certainly argue and say that this is not true, again citing his voting records. If you dig into Guillen’s past a little more, you’ll see the Democrats may actually be telling the truth on this one.

Guillen refused to vote in the case of the election bill that passed in Texas a short time ago. Many Democrats fled the town, choosing to try and hide in Washington DC to prevent the vote. Guillen did not flee, but he did refuse to vote.

That’s not the only concerning point of Guillen’s voting history. In May, Texas voted regarding the teaching of critical race theory in the state. The vote passed 79 to 65, but Guillen voted against the measure. A quick search of Guillen’s social media shows he did not even comment on the matter.

He voted against a bill that would prohibit election officials from mailing unsolicited ballots and drive-through voting, where Republicans all supported it. He chose not to vote for a bill that allowed handguns to be carried in places of worship. He voted against prohibiting sanctuary cities.

While Guillen can try and claim all that he wants that he is a conservative, the truth lies in his actions. It seems he became more closely aligned with his Republican ideals when he realized that he may not be able to remain in office with redistricting. Or perhaps it was when his Democrat friends started to be under a lot of scrutiny.

Either way, Guillen displays a lot of what is wrong with politicians. It would be different if we could actually see a strong conservative track record in his past. Instead, he looks like just another fairweather politician that is pandering for a vote to remain in office.

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