Texas GOP votes to continue forward with in-person convention in Houston this month

Texas Republicans have voted to move forward with plans to host an in-person convention in Houston later this month.

The State Republican Executive Committee voted 40-20 in favor of moving forward with the event at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston from July 13-18.

The vote comes after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order mandating masks across the state, amid the surge in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.

“After extensive debate Thursday evening, the State Republican Executive Committee reinforced its support for proceeding with our State Convention in person in Houston,” said RPT Chairman James Dickey. 

The committee said they will have several safety measures in place, including thermal scanners at entryways, expanded seating, deep cleanings, and hand sanitizer stations.

There will also be masks available for attendees, to be in compliance with Gov. Abbott’s order.

In response to the Texas GOP decision, Mayor Sylvester Turner issued the following statement on Friday:

"In view of the pandemic's surge across the state and the strong statement from the Texas Medical Association to withdraw its support from an in-person convention at the George R. Brown Convention Center, the City was hopeful that the State Republican Executive Committee would elect to transition to a virtual platform.

"Now that the Executive Committee has made the decision to move forward, the City will decide what steps must be taken to protect the health and safety of employees, visitors, and the general public.

"At the very minimum, masks will be a requirement for attendance and service. However, it is also my hope that over the next several days, the party's leadership will reconsider in view of the rising number of positive COVID-19 cases, increased hospitalizations, and shortage of ICU beds."