Texas House Democrat Switches to Republican Party: ‘Many of Us Are Waking Up’

Texas State Rep. Ryan Guillen (R) shakes Gov. Greg Abbott's (R-TX) hand as Guillen announces that he is becoming a democrat, November 15, 2021. (Greg Abbott/Facebook)
Greg Abbott/Facebook

Texas State Rep. Ryan Guillen, a longtime Democrat, is switching over to the Republican Party, announcing that “many of us are waking up to the fact that the values of those in Washington, DC, are not our values, not the values of most Texans.”

Flanked by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) and House Speaker Dade Phelan (R), Gullien made the announcement on Monday.

Welcome to the party of freedom, opportunity & prosperity Ryan Guillen.As Dems move further left, they're abandoning…

Posted by Greg Abbott on Monday, November 15, 2021

Chairman Matt Rinaldi added that he is “proud to welcome” Guillen to the Republican Party.

“I am confident Republicans in Austin and his constituents in the Rio Grande Valley will welcome him with open arms,” he said:

Following this month’s Republican victories in Virginia and in Texas HD118, this is yet another example of how the increasing extremism of the Democratic Party has alienated Texans who care about smaller government, strong families, safe communities and the protection of the unborn. Those people have a home in our party.

Republican State Leadership Committee’s Dee Duncan directly pointed to Republican John Lujan’s upset victory in the House District 118, a border district, this month “in a district with a majority Hispanic population.” That, he said, “already proved that Texans are fed up with the failures of Democratic leadership and Ryan Guillen’s party switch makes that fact all the more clear”:

Today’s Democrat leaders are so focused on appeasing their fringe-left base by putting teachers’ unions ahead of parents, pushing socialist tax and spending schemes, and fighting for open border policies, that even elected officials in their own party cannot support their radical agenda anymore. We welcome Representative Guillen to the Republican Party with open arms and look forward to working with him as he partners with the Republican majority to deliver solutions for the people of his district.

“This has been the worst kept secret at the Capitol,” Abbott said of Guillen’s switch. “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.”

The news coincides with former representative and failed presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke announcing his gubernatorial bid in the Lone Star State on Monday:

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