MCALLEN, RGV – House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan presided over the ceremony where freshman Congressman Vicente Gonzalez was sworn into office.

The McAllen Democrat will represent the 15th Congressional District of Texas in the 115th U.S. Congress.

Gonzalez is the 6th person to represent the 15th District of Texas since its creation in 1903. The five previous representatives for the 15th District of Texas are: John Nance Garner, Milton H. West, Lloyd Bentsen Jr., Joe M. Kilgore, Kika de la Garza, and Rubén Hinojosa.

The 15th District of Texas encompasses the rural counties of Brooks, Duval, Jim Hogg, Karnes, and Live Oak as well as parts of Guadalupe, Hidalgo, and Wilson counties. Gonzalez shares representation of Guadalupe County with Congressman Lloyd Doggett, D-Austin, Hidalgo County with Congressmen Henry Cuellar, D-Laredo, and Filemon Vela, D-Brownsville, and Wilson County with Congressman Cuellar.

“Today I took an oath to faithfully serve the great people of the 15th District, of Texas and that is a responsibility I take very seriously,” Gonzalez said in a statement.

“During the 115th Congress we will vote on issues that will have a direct impact on our community. As your representative, I will work with our parents and teachers to improve education and expand opportunities for our students, and work with state, local, and federal officials and stakeholders to address local transportation needs, make health care more patient-friendly and affordable, and to secure more federal resources for our communities.”

Gonzalez added that he is eager to demonstrate the economic importance of the district to the State of Texas and to the entire country.

“The State of Texas and South Texas are centers of commerce that benefit the entire country. The trade that comes through Hidalgo County at our ports of entry on our southern border supports jobs in South Texas my district and scores the United States.

“As your congressman, I will work with my colleagues in the U.S. House to develop policies that promote economic growth and job creation in our region and ensure that President-Elect Donald Trump and his administration recognize the important role South Texas plays in our economy.”

Gonzalez was one of eight new U.S. Representatives to join the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.

Editor’s Note: The main image accompanying this story shows Vicente Gonzalez being sworn into office as Congressman for the 15th Congressional District of Texas. He is pictured with his wife Lorena and U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan.