Armando Falcon models himself after a maverick, former Rep. Henry B. Gonzalez, a populist crusader who is well remembered in banking circles for his combative tenure as chairman of the House Banking Committee from 1989 through 1994.

Mr. Falcon, who grew up in Rep. Gonzalez's hometown of San Antonio, and later worked for him as a member of the committee staff, said the importance of standing his ground was drilled into him at an early age by his parents and grandparents.

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