Gov. Greg Abbott will skip the Republican National Convention later this month in North Carolina as he continues to respond to the coronavirus pandemic in Texas, and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick will instead chair the state’s delegation to the scaled-down gathering.
Abbott announced the plan in a letter dated Friday to the national GOP chairwoman, Ronna McDaniel.
“It was an honor being selected to serve as Chair of the Texas Delegation for the 2020 Republican National Convention,” Abbott wrote. “However, as we deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, my top priority remains focused on protecting the health and safety of Texans.”
Later this month, Charlotte will host the national convention, which has been pared down to delegates’ official business due to the pandemic. President Donald Trump initially sought to hold a portion of the convention — his renomination acceptance speech — in Jacksonville, Florida, but abandoned that plan late last month amid a rise in coronavirus cases there.
The Republican National Committee decided earlier this summer to limit state’s in-person delegations to Charlotte to six members — an especially significant reduction for Texas, which normally sends over 150 delegates to the national convention.
Patrick, who chairs Trump’s reelection campaign in Texas, was already the vice chair of the delegation to Charlotte. The five other delegates who will join him now are Allen West, the new state party chairman; Toni Anne Dashiell and Robin Armstrong, Texas’ two RNC members; Deon Starnes, a member of the State Republican Executive Committee; and Adolpho Telles, the chairman of the El Paso County GOP.
Abbott also missed the Republican National Convention in 2016. At the time, he was recovering from severe burns he suffered during a family vacation earlier that summer.
Abbott’s letter to McDaniel was first reported by The Dallas Morning News.
The state Republican Party last month held its convention, which went virtual despite a legal battle to hold it in-person in Houston as that city experienced a dramatic surge in coronavirus infections. The convention ended up being plagued by technical issues and long delays, so much so that delegates voted to finish their business at a later date. A special party committee has since recommended that the SREC take up the unfinished business at its Sept. 19 meeting.
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GOP strategists hoped Trump would make the case for the two GOP senators in the January runoff elections that will decide control of the U.S. Senate, but Trump has continued to fixate on his delusions that he won the presidential election.
Aboard Air Force One on the flight to the rally, Trump attacked two GOP governors: Brian Kemp of Georgia and Doug Ducey of Arizona -- and seemed to threaten political retribution for the pair not going along with the president's debunked conspiracy theories about the election.
Panicked Republicans ‘working frantically behind the scenes’ — but Trump just keeps attacking GOP Gov Brian Kemp
Republicans are worried that President Donald Trump will pour gasoline on the intraparty inferno burning in Georgia.
Trump is officially traveling to the Peach State for a rally in support of the two Republican senators in January runoff elections that will decide control of the U.S. Senate.
Republicans worry Trump will continue to attack Republican Gov. Brian Kemp as he has on Twitter.
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President Donald Trump's mental health since losing the 2020 presidential election was the focus of a new analysis by New York Times chief White House correspondent Peter Baker that was published online Saturday.
"Over the past week, President Trump posted or reposted more than 130 messages on Twitter lashing out at the results of an election he lost. He mentioned the coronavirus pandemic now reaching its darkest hours four times — and even then just to assert that he was right about the outbreak and the experts were wrong," Baker reported under the headline, "Trump’s Final Days of Rage and Denial."