State Rep. Ryan Guillen

FLORESVILLE, Texas – State Rep. Ryan Guillen chose Floresville, Texas, birthplace of John Connally, to follow in the footsteps of the former Texas Governor and U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, and flip from being a Democrat to a Republican.

Since 2003, Guillen has served in the Texas House as a Democrat. But in November, 2021, he announced he would seek election for the same seat – House District 31 – as a Republican.

Connally served as U.S. Secretary of the Navy in President Kennedy’s administration and later successfully ran for Governor of Texas as a conservative Democrat.

However, he served as U.S. Secretary of Treasury in President Nixon’s administration and sought the Republican nomination for president of the United States in 1980.

When Guillen, a native of Rio Grande City, announced his party switch he did not mention Connally. He said: “Growing up in South Texas, I grew up among Democrats. I ran for office as a Democrat, and just last year I won re-election as a Democrat, by a 17-point margin. While at the same time, President Trump won the district by 13 points. But friends, something is happening in South Texas and many of us are waking up to the fact that the value of those in Washington, D.C., are not our values, are not the values of most Texans, certainly not the values of South Texans.”

Former Texas Gov. John Connally

Guillen said: “The ideology of defunding the police, of destroying the oil and gas industry, and of the chaos at our border is disastrous for those of us who live here in South Texas.

“That is why after much thought, and much prayer with my family, today I am announcing that I will proudly be running as a Republican to represent House District 31.”

Guillen added: “After years of voting to protect the Second Amendment, after years of voting to protect the unborn, and against tax increases and two secure the border I now look forward to not having to break with my party in order to do so.”

Guillen was one of the youngest ever Texas state representatives when first elected. He was 24 years of age when he took office in 2003. He has held leadership positions under three House speakers.

Editor’s Note: The main image accompanying the above news story shows state Rep. Ryan Guillen, his wife Dalinda, and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott at the news conference in Floresville, Texas, where Guillen announced he was switching political parties. (Photo credit: Devan Sutton/Willacy County News)

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