AUSTIN - The Republican Party of Texas on Thursday sued Mayor Sylvester Turner, Houston First Corp., and the City of Houston for canceling the party’s in-person convention that was scheduled for next week at the George R. Brown.
The party is suing for breach of contract and it applied for a writ of mandamus requiring the city to honor its contract.
“The Republican Party of Texas is seeking an injunction requiring the George R. Brown Convention Center to comply with the binding contract and is requesting a temporary restraining order preventing the city from restricting the convention’s events or using the virus as a pretext to cancel the convention," the party said in a statement.
The Texas GOP also claims Mayor Turner didn't appropriately use the Force Majeure clause and was trying to find any way to shut down the convention.
“Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner’s use of the Force Majeure clause is just a pretext to his intent to treat the Republican Party of Texas differently than other groups, such as those we have seen from recent protests in the city of Houston," the statement said. “Mayor Turner was explicit in his objective to dig through our contract and try to find a way – any way – to shut us down."
Mayor Turner announced on Wednesday afternoon that due to the increased spreading of COVID-19 in Houston, he sent a letter to Houston First asking them to cancel the event. Then, in turn, Houston First, which owns the GRB, sent a letter to the Republican Party of Texas letting them know they are canceling the event.
Meanwhile, Montgomery County Judge Mark Keough offered the county as an alternate site for the in-person state GOP convention.
“Montgomery County is open for business,” Keough said in a Facebook video message.