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High School Dropout Returned to School, Now Headed to Congress

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MCALLEN – The Rio Grande Valley’s newest U.S. Congressman Vicente Gonzalez is expected to be sworn in soon. He said it’ll be an interesting Congress, to say the least.

 Gonzalez worked to shut down his law office in McAllen before he makes the big move.

“Kind of wrapping up my work that I’ve been doing for 20 years to move into this new Congress,” he said.

He is replacing retired Congressman Ruben Hinojosa and he’s already spent two weeks in Washington for orientation.

“The two weeks are really where you get to know each other. You go through the process of what Congress is like. You get office assignments, which is a lottery,” he explained. “And they had us housed in the same hotel on Capitol Hill, both Democrats and Republicans freshmen. So it was a great opportunity to meet folks across the isle.”

It’s in the congressional committees that a lot of the work gets done.

“I’m looking at trying to improve our area and make it better when I do go up and ask for committee assignments. I’m a freshman, so everything is based on seniority. I’ve had several meetings with Nancy Pelosi to try and get myself on one of the committees that I think would most benefit our area,” Gonzalez said.

Donald Trump was elected as the incoming president and most people aren’t sure what to expect.

“Well it’s certainly complex. And I think it’s complex for everyone, including his own party. And I’m hoping that he’ll have good advisors and that he’ll make right decisions that we can all support as Americans. And if not, we’ll have to oppose him vigorously,” he said.

Gonzalez is a high school dropout, going from earning his GED to lawyer to congressman.

“As a young man in high school, I actually dropped out of high school. And you know, was misdirected as a lot of young people are. And I found a way to get back on track and earned a GED and went to a community college and university and then on the law school. And by golly, I passed the bar exam the first time,” he said.

Trump will take his oath in less than three weeks, and the first 100 days, Gonzalez said, will tell people a lot about where the country is going.

“So I think it’s a very interesting time,” he said.

Gonzalez said he’s ready.

You can catch Con Mi Gente segments Tuesdays and Thursdays on CHANNEL 5 NEWS THIS MORNING and CHANNEL 5 NEWS at 5.   

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