Media, GOP Establishment Terrified of Brandon Herrera

Townhall Media/Rebecca Downs

Brandon Herrera is a gun guy and a gun influencer. He's that new breed of gun person that can only exist in the world where YouTube is a thing.

After all, how else does a guy who makes and shoots guns for a living have a chance to run for Congress and become a viable candidate?


Yet Herrera is.

What's more, not only does he scare incumbent Tony Gonzales, but he terrifies the rest of the Republican establishment.

That's not supposition or guesswork. That's pretty much the crux of this piece from Politico.

Rep. Tony Gonzales’ centrist voting record and willingness to excoriate his colleagues have earned him a fair share of GOP enemies. Party leaders are still dreading what happens if he loses a runoff this month.

The West Texan is battling for his political life after being forced into a primary runoff with a gun-rights YouTube star backed by members like Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) and House Freedom Caucus Chair Rep. Bob Good (R-Va.). Brandon Herrera, known as “The AK Guy” after his affection for assault rifles, would likely align with rabble-rousers who have repeatedly challenged GOP leadership.

If Gonzales loses the runoff at the end of the month, Republican leaders would face two worse alternatives. They either risk losing the seat entirely thanks to an unpalatable Republican nominee — who has mocked the Holocaust, veterans’ suicides and Barron Trump — or they hold it but welcome into their ranks someone who is likely to further inflame internal caucus divisions.

“The reality is if Tony doesn’t win the primary, the Dems win the seat,” said Rep. Ronny Jackson (R-Texas), who is backing Gonzales. “The guy that’s running against him could potentially win the primary, but he cannot win the general election. So, I think it’s a pretty clear choice. It should be for most people.”


First, let me just say that if Tony Gonzales is the most Republican you can get out of that district, you might as well hand it over to the Democrats because he's not doing you any favors.

Seriously, though, I'm not so certain that Gonzales is really the only guy who can win that district for the GOP. The truth is that this is a district that still went to Trump in 2020, and has been redistricted to make it even more conservative-friendly. Considering how the last four years have gone, particularly at the border, it's unlikely they've suddenly decided illegal immigration and other Democratic talking points are just swell.

What's interesting is how all the establishment Republicans Politico spoke to seem to back Gonzales despite him being squishy on so many key issues for the GOP. Why? Because once you're in office, they want to keep you there because they expect you'll work to keep them in office.

Not everyone plays that game.

Gaetz dismissed concerns that a Herrera primary win might cost the GOP in the general election, saying in an interview: “We barely have the seat now.”

The Florida conservative, who has taken on other incumbents this cycle, argued that Gonzales’ remarks on Rep. Chip Roy’s (R-Texas) border bill really energized his critics.

“When Tony Gonzalez called those of us fighting for border protections un-Christian, it struck a nerve. And we’d like that question to be litigated for Tony’s constituents,” Gaetz added.


Gaetz has been called horrible things by Gonzales, and based on the Texas incumbent's comments about others, including Herrera and Gaetz, it's no wonder none of them particularly care for him.

But the truth of the matter is that Gaetz is right. As it stands, Republicans barely have a seat now, especially when it comes to subjects like gun rights. 

Something interesting in all this? There's no indication Politico even tried to speak with Herrera.

That wrote a whole article about the race and the GOP infighting, but no one thought to talk to Herrera.

After all, you'd think his insights about why he decided to step into the ring when there was already a Republican in office might be illuminating.

But they didn't. Instead, they ignored a key part of the story because, frankly, Herrera would lay it all out, plain as day for anyone interested in looking. Gonzales is eager to infringe on our gun rights--something Herrera most definitely would not do--and take shots at his fellow Republicans as much as any Democrat, offering Republican constituents nothing at all.

It's why more than half of all voters in the primary opted for someone else. If they coalesce around Herrera, Gonzales is going to need to brush up his resume.


And no, I'm not convinced that it'll suddenly swing Democrat simply because the guy who shares a name with a legendary football player--the reason I think he's managed to win is they think they're voting for the tight end, not this wet shirt--doesn't win his primary.

Join the conversation as a VIP Member