An Exclusive Q & A with Texas State Representative Gary Gates of Katy about His Impeachment Vote and Other Issues that Arose During His Reelection Campaign

An Exclusive Q & A with Texas State Representative Gary Gates of Katy about His Impeachment Vote and Other Issues that Arose During His Reelection Campaign

On Saturday, May 27, Texas State Rep. Gary Gates, along with 59 other House Republicans, voted “yes” for the impeachment of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. Ultimately, the attorney general was cleared of all charges and resumed his seat in office. 

As a result, Texas voters, who just six months before the impeachment trial overwhelmingly voted to reelect Paxton, revolted against the Texas House Republicans.

The consequences were detrimental. Statewide, constituents lost confidence in the integrity of their elected representatives. Ten months after that shameful day, many House Republicans who voted to impeach Paxton without any evidence lost their seats.

 Katy and Fort Bend Christian Magazines opposed all local and statewide officeholders who voted for impeachment, including Gates. We were very hard on him, a response which felt well deserved at the time.

 Gates was one of only two Texas Republican House members who apologized to Paxton for voting for his impeachment. The other was JM Lozano of Kingsville.

 Recently, Katy and Fort Bend Christian Magazine had the opportunity to sit down and question Gates about his role in the House impeachment trial last May, along with many other questions that have plagued the representative throughout this election cycle.

We felt Gates was forthcoming and honest about his answers. This is our exclusive interview.

 KCM: Tell us why, on the fateful morning of May 27, 2023, you voted with fifty-nine other House Republicans, without any sworn testimony before the House, for the impeachment of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton? 

Additionally, you were one of only two-House Republicans who apologized to Paxton after the impeachment. Shortly after that, you made a $25,000 campaign contribution to the attorney general. Many speculate that you were buying his endorsement. Can you explain this to our readers?

 GATES:Under the Texas Constitution and state statutes, the Texas House of Representatives is charged with duties like those of a grand jury. The House Committee on General Investigating is responsible for investigating matters relating to a contemplated impeachment. If the committee believes there is enough evidence that the whole House must consider, it presents articles of impeachment to the body for a vote. If the House votes affirmatively on the articles of impeachment, the Texas Senate is responsible for a trial to convict or acquit,” Gates said.

“The articles of impeachment were presented to the House on Thursday evening, May 25, 2023, and the vote was taken on Saturday, May 27, 2023, two days before the House adjourned Sine Die. Members of the Texas House were told that General Paxton could address allegations during the Senate trial. After the lengthy trial in the Senate, the Senate voted to acquit General Paxton on sixteen articles of impeachment.”

 “As the trial unfolded, I became disturbed by the failure of the House Impeachment Managers and lawyers to present any convincing evidence, as they strongly inferred when they presented the information to the House before the vote on Saturday, May 27, 2023. By the end of the Senate trial, I felt misled by House leadership and concluded they abused the trust we had placed in their hands,” Gates continued.

 “Moreover, I am concerned that House leadership began publicly blaming the Senate process and the case outcome after the trial without placing any responsibility on the House Managers and the attorneys they hired who oversaw the allegations. For these reasons, I owed an apology to General Paxton, which I offered through a personal exchange with the Attorney General. We agreed that by putting this matter behind us, we can better move forward to best serve all Texans and promote conservative values for the Lone Star State.”

 “I initially contributed $10,000 to his reelection efforts. After learning of the hardships he and his family endured because of the impeachment process, I contributed another $15,000 to his reelection and $5000 to Senator Angela Paxton. During each of these meetings, we never discussed the possibility of him endorsing me in my reelection, as it was not until later, in January 2024, that I reached out to him for that purpose. That was several months after I had extended my apology to General Paxton and contributed to the campaigns of General Ken Paxton and Senator Angela Paxton.”

 KCM: Many of your constituents claim you spend more time in your “adopted town” of Crested Butte, Colorado, than in Texas, even giving you the nickname “Colorado Gary.” Is there any truth to this allegation?

GATES:This allegation is completely false, and the fabrication was initiated by a former campaign opponent who took information out of context from my business website for his own personal spin.”

 “My wife and I have owned a house in Crested Butte, Colorado, since 2015. I began building affordable housing projects in Colorado in 2017, which required my attendance at public hearings. Because of this business commitment, I spent most of that summer working on the projects in the area,” Gates detailed.

 “Since my election to the Texas House in 2020, we have traveled to Crested Butte for about fifteen to twenty days over several trips annually. In fact, from January 2023 until today, we have been there less than ten days over the past fifteen months.”

“My wife, Melissa, and I are blessed with thirteen children and many grandchildren. We have built a thriving family business that employs 450-500 individuals. We enjoy spending time with our large family, participating in church activities, and growing the family business in Texas, as this is, and has been our home for thirty-eight years since 1986.”

KCM: Many of your voters claim you mishandled your office to author laws that benefit your real estate business. Is there any truth to this claim?

 GATES:No, there is no truth to this claim. The Texas Constitution dictates that the Texas Legislature meet every odd-numbered year for 140 days unless called into a special session by the governor. Because of this part-time design, the elected members of the House are citizen legislators, each bringing their invaluable expertise, experience, and skills to the process. For example, policies dealing with animal care are frequently managed by legislators who are veterinarians, medical policies are often dealt with by lawmakers in the medical profession, and law enforcement matters are usually conducted by those members who are also police officers.”

 “Accordingly, as a business owner dealing with residential housing, it is reasonable that I would carry legislation related to that industry. As a staunch conservative who believes in fewer government regulations, I believe it benefits the best interest of all Texans for me to identify and execute policies that reduce burdensome regulations. The legislation I file is most frequently opposed only by government officials, and the support comes from small businesses and individuals who see the benefits of less red tape.”

 “It is disingenuous for me to claim that less government is best and not utilize my extensive background and knowledge to promulgate such initiatives. Although our family business is flourishing and large enough to manage the extraneous financial burdens of government regulations, I promote sound public policy by passing measures that reduce government interference so that other companies can grow in a free-market competitive environment. Although this works against my business interests, job growth and a competitive economy are appropriate for all Texans — I am elected to be a voice for the constituents of House District 28.”

 KCM: Do you have any response to people who claim that you have evicted homeless veterans by raising their rent way beyond their ability to pay?

 GATES: “Allegations that have been launched against me concerning this issue are patently false,” he asserted. “Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee alleged this when I purchased a senior affordable housing project in a historically Black area in the Fifth Ward of Houston. The building was non-profit, and the owners paid no property taxes. The property was built in the 1960s and had been neglected for years until I acquired it.”

 “My purchase of this property put it back on the tax rolls and cost my company several million dollars to comply with all City of Houston property codes. Ninety percent of the tenants appreciated all the improvements, but a few met with the Congressperson to make the false claims.”

 “Veteran status is not included in the application for prospective residents. We collaborated with the residents and adjusted their rents over the years to minimize financial hardships, resulting in a few tenants moving out. Evictions are rarely done and then only after other remedies have been exhausted and a tenant refuses to pay.”

 KCM: Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?

GATES: “I am humbled to be reelected, but I acknowledge that 38% of the voters were upset with me. I will work to regain their trust and believe I can succeed,” Gates said.

 “Looking forward, I still have a general election to win, and I am grateful to every conservative who supports me in this endeavor. Taking nothing for granted, I will also work vigorously to help return President Trump to the White House, reelect Senator Cruz, and ensure our Republican majority in the Texas House of Representatives remains.”

 “Sweeping changes will be introduced in the Texas House, and I have already begun implementing them with my colleagues. For example, a top priority for the next session will be changing the House Rules that govern the impeachment process, as we must prevent a future tragedy like the one our attorney general experienced.”

 “Serving Fort Bend County is an honor I take very seriously, and my door is always open to the people I serve and represent,” he emphasized. “Your time is appreciated, and I thank you for the opportunity to communicate with your readers.”

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Joseph Menslage

As the President and Publisher of Katy and Fort Bend Christian Magazines, Joe Menslage is committed to covering social and political news from a Christian worldview. He founded Katy Christian Magazine in 2005, which swept the greater Houston and Katy areas like a storm. That’s when Joe realized the urgent need for publications willing to give voices to the voiceless, without political correctness or censorship. Joe Menslage founded sister-publication Fort Bend Christian Magazine in 2014. Prior to creating Katy Christian Magazine, Joe Menslage led a colorful life. He was born in Lake Charles, Louisiana, spent a great deal of his childhood in Colorado, and lived in a couple of other states before he moved to Houston in 1981. Joe was God-gifted with an entrepreneurial mind, and self-started other business ventures before he found his calling. In Joe’s words, our innate talents are given by the Lord, and are meant to be used to serve the Lord. Aside from being a President and Publisher, Joe Menslage is also the co-founder of Katy Christian Chamber of Commerce, where Christians can network, build business connections, listen to passionate speakers, and enjoy monthly breakfasts and lunches. Joe Menslage also hosts a weekly political satire YouTube channel. Joe Menslage has four children. Outside of work, he enjoys hiking, watching zombie movies and K dramas, ax-throwing and Krav Maga.