Charlie Gonzalez

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Charlie González
Charlie A. Gonzalez, official portrait.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Texas's 20th district
In office
January 3, 1999 – January 3, 2013
Preceded byHenry González
Succeeded byJoaquin Castro
Personal details
Charles Augustine Gonzalez

(1945-05-05) May 5, 1945 (age 77)
San Antonio, Texas, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Parent(s)Henry González
Bertha Cuellar
EducationUniversity of Texas, Austin (BA)
St. Mary's University, Texas (JD)
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/service United States Air Force
Years of service1969–1975
RankE6 USAF TSGT.svg Technical Sergeant
UnitUnited States Air National Guard
 • Texas Air National Guard

Charles Augustine González (born May 5, 1945) is an American Democratic politician from Texas. He represented Texas's 20th congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1999 to 2013. He served as Chairman of Latinos for Obama and National Co-Chair of President Obama's 2012 re-election campaign.

Early life, education, and legal career[edit]

González was born in San Antonio, Texas, the son of Bertha Marie (née Cuellar) and Henry B. González, who represented the 20th from 1961 until his son took over in 1999. His parents, of Mexican descent, were both Texas-born.[1] Charlie graduated from Thomas A. Edison High School. He received his bachelor's degree in government from the University of Texas at Austin in 1969, and then later earned his Juris Doctor degree from St. Mary's University in San Antonio in 1972. As a youth, he was a Boy Scout in Troop 90 of San Antonio.[2] His father was the Scoutmaster.[3]

González served as a technical sergeant in the Texas Air National Guard from 1969 until 1975. He then began practicing law until 1982 when he began rising through the ranks of the court system. He served first as a municipal court judge, then later as a judge in county and then district court, both of which are elected positions.

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]


Henry González, of Texas's 20th congressional district, had long groomed his son to be his successor. When his father didn't seek a full 19th term in 1998, Charlie ran for the seat. In a crowded seven-way Democratic primary, Gonzalez led the field with 44%, missing the 50% threshold to avoid a run-off.[4] In that election, he defeated San Antonio City Councilwoman Maria Antonietta Berriozabal 62%-38%.[5] In the general election, he defeated Republican James Walker 63%-36%.[6] He became only the fourth person to represent the 20th District since its creation in 1935. In fact, Charlie's first race was the first open-seat race in the district's 64-year history. However, he had effectively assured himself of succeeding his father with his primary win. The 20th is a heavily Democratic, majority-Hispanic district; the Republicans have only put up nominal candidates in this district since Henry won it in a 1961 special election.

Charlie kept this tradition going. He was re-elected six more times, and never won re-election with less than 63% of the vote. He only faced a Republican challenger three times, in 2004, 2008 and 2010. He had no major-party opposition in 2000 and 2006 and was completely unopposed in 2002.[7]

He decided to retire and not seek another term in 2012.


Charlie González is a member of the New Democrat Coalition. He is generally seen as less confrontational than his father, who once punched someone for calling him a communist. Between them, the father and son represented the 20th for 52 consecutive years; the only family combination to serve longer in the House has been the Dingells of Michigan, who have represented various districts centered around Detroit and its suburbs for almost 90 consecutive years.

Rep. González was one of the first congressmen to actively support Barack Obama in the 2008 Democratic presidential primary. "Senator Obama brings all these new fresh faces,’’ Gonzalez told the San Antonio Express-News. "He has a wider audience. He has the greater potential to engage a greater number of people.’’

González announced on November 25, 2011, that he would not seek reelection in the 2012 congressional elections. He said he wanted a job that would allow him "to be productive and have the resources to make a better life" for himself and his family.[8]

Committee assignments[edit]

Caucus memberships[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ " Home Page". Archived from the original on June 5, 2016. Retrieved March 3, 2012.
  2. ^ "San Antonio, Troop 90". Archived from the original on July 27, 2011. Retrieved June 30, 2010.
  3. ^ González, Charlie (June 30, 2010). 2010 Hispanic Leadership Awards (Speech). Washington, D.C.
  4. ^ "Our Campaigns - TX District 20 - D Primary Race - Mar 10, 1998".
  5. ^ "Our Campaigns - TX District 20 - D Runoff Race - Apr 14, 1998". Our Campaigns.
  6. ^ "Our Campaigns - TX District 20 Race - Nov 03, 1998".
  7. ^ "Our Campaigns - Candidate - Charlie Gonzalez". Our Campaigns.
  8. ^ "Charlie Gonzalez won't seek re-election". My San Antonio. 25 November 2011. Retrieved 25 November 2011.

External links[edit]

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Texas's 20th congressional district

Succeeded by
Preceded by Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus
Succeeded by
U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded byas Former US Representative Order of precedence of the United States
as Former US Representative
Succeeded byas Former US Representative