In House of Cards Season 5, one major player is Congressman Alex Romero, a Democrat who President Frank Underwood works with in his efforts to maintain power. So who exactly is this Congressman Romero? What do we know about him?
Alex Romero is a brand new character to Season 5. The first time we see him is in the season premiere, when he’s speaking with Will Conway, with Conway saying that they both have one thing in common: they hate Frank Underwood. Although Romero is a Democrat, he leans to the right, and he is no fan of the current president. Back in Season 4, Will Conway repeatedly said that he has friends on the House Intelligence Committee, and Romero is one of those friends.
During this early conversation, Conway says that Romero should try to get himself onto the committee authorizing President Underwood’s war against ICO. He also wants Romero to use his position on the committee to shed light on Frank Underwood’s misdeeds. The clear implication is that Conway will reward Romero in some way if he becomes president.
In the next episode, Romero, now on the committee, questions former vice president Jim Matthews about the recent allegations that Frank Underwood pressured him to resign so that he could become vice president and subsequently get Garrett Walker impeached. Even though he’s a Democrat, Romero is acting quite aggressive towards the fellow Democratic president in the early part of House of Cards Season 5.
In Chapter 57, Frank Underwood personally meets with Alex Romero in the Oval Office. Underwood attempts to intimidate Romero, telling him that he gambled and lost and that the entire Democratic party is about to turn its back on him. Underwood tries to get Romero to whip votes in the House, offering to help him if he does so.
“So this is a straight up bribe,” Romero says.
“Oh no, Congressman,” Frank says. “A bribe is something you can refuse.”
Romero tries to whip the Democrats, but later in the episode, he says that he was unsuccessful because those in his bloc believe supporting Underwood would do more damage to the Democratic party than a Conway presidency would.
It’s implied that Alex Romero considers himself to be leading some sort of a movement that is not particularly loyal to the Democratic party itself, sort of similar to the Bernie Sanders 2016 campaign, except with Romero leaning to the right and actually preferring the Republican nominee for president.
Congressman Alex Romero is played by James Martinez, an actor who has also starred as a supporting character in shows like Elementary, Breaking Bad, and Law & Order.