ENG: Charles Augustine "Charlie" Gonzalez (born May 5, 1945) is a Democratic politician from Texas. He represented Texas's 20th congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1999 to 2013.
Early life, education, and legal career
Gonzalez was born in San Antonio, Texas, the son of Bertha Marie (née Cuellar) and Henry B. Gonzalez, who represented the 20th from 1961 until his son took over in 1999. His parents, of Mexican descent, were both Texas-born. 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. His father was the Scoutmaster.
Gonzalez 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 - Elections
Henry Gonzalez, of Texas's 20th congressional district, had long groomed his son as his successor. When his father didn't seek a full 19th term in 1998, Charlie ran for the seat. In the Democratic primary, Gonzalez lead a 7-candidate field with 44%, missing the 50% threshold to avoid a run-off.
In that election, he defeated Maria Antonietta Berriozabal 62%-38%. In the general election, he defated Republican James Walker 63%-36%. 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.
He was re-elected six more times, and never won re-election with less than 63% of the vote. He had no major-party opposition in 2000 and 2006.
He went unopposed in 2002.
He decided to retire and not seek another term in 2012.
Charlie Gonzalez 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 have served 48 consecutive years in Congress as of November, 2009; the only father and son combination to serve longer in the House has been the Dingells of Michigan, who have represented the state's 15th District for 72 consecutive years.
Rep. Gonzalez was one of the first congressmen to actively support Barack Obama in the 2008 Democrat 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.’’
Gonzalez announced on November 25, 2011, that he will 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.
January 23, 2013