As the coronavirus epidemic continues in Texas, Governor Greg Abbott will skip the Republican National Convention in North Carolina later this month, and Lieutenant Government will replace Dan Patrick as chair of the state delegation.
Abbott announced the plan in a letter to National GOP Chairman Rona McDonnell on Friday.
“It is an honor to have been selected to serve as Texas Delegation Chair for the 2020 Republican National Convention,” Abbott wrote. “However, when we deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, my first priority is to protect the health and safety of Texans.”
Later this month, Charlotte will host a national conference that has reduced the official business of delegates due to the epidemic. President Donald Trump originally sought to hold a part of the convention in Jacksonville, Florida – to deliver his naming consensus speech, but withdrew that plan late last month in the wake of rising coronavirus cases there.
The Republican National Committee decided earlier this summer to limit personal representation in the state to Charlotte to six members – a significant reduction, especially for Texas, which usually sends more than 150 delegates to the National Convention.
Patrick, who presided over Trump’s re-election campaign in Texas, is already vice president of the Charlotte delegation. Five other delegates who will now join him are new state party chairman Allen West; Tony Anne Dacial and Robin Armstrong, two RNC members from Texas; Dion Starns, member of the State Republican Executive Committee; And El Paso County GOP Chairman Adolfo Telles.
Abbott also missed out on the Republican National Convention in 2016. At the time, he was recovering from severe burns he had suffered during family vacations earlier that summer.
Abbott’s letter to MacDaniel was first reported by The Dallas Morning News.
The State Republican Party held its convention last month, which went virtually despite a legal battle to hold it in person in Houston, as the city saw a dramatic increase in coronavirus infections. The meeting was plagued with technical issues and long delays, so much so that delegates voted to complete their business at a later date. The special party committee recommended that the SREC take up the unfinished business at its September 19 meeting.
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