HOUSTON — Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said he's taken himself out of the running to become Director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Gonzalez announced his decision on Twitter this afternoon and said he told the Biden administration on Sunday.
Biden initially nominated Gonzalez more than a year ago, but his confirmation stalled in the GOP-controlled Senate. The president nominated him again in January.
"More than a year has passed since the President nominated me for this important position, which has not had a Senate-confirmed director since the Obama administration," Gonzalez tweeted. "I am grateful to President Biden for the honor of nominating me, and I wish this administration well as it strives to overcome the paralyzing political gridlock that threatens far more than our nation's border. Frankly, the dysfunction threatens America's heart and soul."
Gonzalez said he decided it's best for all involved if he remains on as sheriff.
"My love for America and my desire to serve during these contentious times is stronger than ever. Ensuring the safety and security of the people of Harris County is a great honor, and I am fully devoted to continuing to fulfill this responsibility," the sheriff tweeted.
Gonzalez had been a target of Republicans because of past comments about ICE and immigration policy under former President Donald Trump, according to Houston Public Media.
He leads the third largest sheriff's office in the United States, and the biggest in Texas.
He was first elected to the Harris County Sherriff's Office in 2016 after retiring in 2009 from the Houston Police Department, where he reached the rank of sergeant and served for 18 years.
One of the city's most visible law enforcement leaders, the sheriff is no stranger to the political arena.
Gonzalez served three terms on the Houston City Council representing District H. He was elected by his peers in 2010 to serve as Vice Mayor Pro-Tem and was appointed Mayor Pro-Tem in 2012 by Mayor Annise Parker.
He also chaired the council’s Public Safety & Homeland Security Committee.