Texas Republicans Have In-Person Convention, But Leaders Will Speak Via Video UPDATED: NOW CANCELLED
Credit: Texas Tribune
July 8, 2020

Despite calls to cancel the event, Texas Republicans are going ahead anyway, even during the worst outbreak of COVID-19 in the country. The Executive Committee voted for it, but Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and others are taking the safe route, and will appear by video instead because it's not safe to appear.

The more you see of Republicans, the more you wonder how The Onion stays in business.

Source: Texas Tribune

The Republican Party of Texas is moving forward with its controversial in-person convention during the coronavirus pandemic — but elected officials including Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick will be giving their scheduled speeches virtually.

“All the elected officials are switching from a live, in-person speech to videos,” Kyle Whatley, the party’s executive director, said during a town hall livestreamed Tuesday night. “They’re doing that for us in order to focus all the attention on the business of the meeting and to get everybody in and out of here as quickly and as safely as possible.”

Texas Republican officials typically headline their party’s biennial state convention, which this year is scheduled for July 16 to 18 at Houston’s George R. Brown Convention Center. Roughly 6,000 people are expected to attend the event. Attendees will be required to wear masks during most of the gathering, according to party Chair James Dickey, after Abbott issued a statewide mask mandate last week.

Still, as the state has seen a surge in coronavirus cases, calls have been growing for the party to cancel its event. The State Republican Executive Committee, a 64-member body that serves as the party's governing board, met last week to consider moving the convention online, but it approved a resolution supporting an in-person gathering in a 40-20 vote.

UPDATE: And now this bit of foolishness has been cancelled altogether, by Houston's mayor, citing health concerns.

The Republican Party of Texas' in-person convention next week has been canceled, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said Wednesday.

The news came after Turner directed the city's legal department to work with the Houston First Corp., which operates the George R. Brown Convention Center, to review the contract with the state party.

Turner said officials with Houston First sent a letter this afternoon to the State Republican Executive Committee, the state party's governing board, canceling the gathering, which was set to happen July 16-18 and was expected to draw roughly 6,000 attendees.

The state party did not immediately respond to a request for comment. State party Chair James Dickey has said party leaders have worked on a contingency plan to host the convention online if an in-person gathering didn't pan out.

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