The Republican Convention of Texas, the “largest political event in the free world” (according to its organizers), will be online, as voted by the party’s Executive Committee after learning of the decision of the Texas Supreme Court, which gave the mayor reason. Sylvester Turner, from Houston, who canceled the event scheduled for July 16-18.
With a decision of 53 votes in favor of holding the convention online against four votes against, the Republican Executive Committee in Texas decided to make the decision that, according to the party’s state leader, James Dickey, it was the “last option” after Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner decided to cancel the city’s contract to hold the convention, which would convene about 6,000 people.
Houston’s contract with the Republicans was canceled citing as “extraordinary circumstance” the coronavirus pandemic, which has claimed nearly 274,000 cases and at least 3,300 deaths in Texas. The city, the largest in the state and the fourth in the US concentrates the highest number of cases in recent weeks: at least 47,000 confirmed cases.
The Texas Republican Convention was scheduled to be held at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston. Mayor Turner, a Democrat, decided to cancel the contract between the party and Houston First -the organization dedicated to managing public events in city hall facilities- under the argument that the pandemic prevented the concentration of people, emphasizing that it would be in closed spaces and would involve cleaning and shelter personnel for its celebration.
The Republican Party’s decision comes after the Texas Supreme Court He rejected the Republicans’ appeal against Turner’s decision, arguing that his constitutional rights could be celebrated without the concentration of people indoors.
The ruling came after state judges also decided against the resources of the Republican Party to continue with the Republican Convention. as planned.
The increase in coronavirus cases in Texas, which according to Republican Governor Greg Abbott, has increased at “a worrying rate”, has forced the state to cancel its state fair as well, which is the first time since World War II.
The ruling on Monday came after the Texas Attorney General’s Office requested a hearing before the Texas Supreme Court to go against appeals from both the Republican Party and the one filed by the ultra-conservative activist from Houston, Steve Hotze, in order for the event to take place.
“Despite their allegations, the petitions do not invoke the authority of the Supreme Court and they should be rejected on this basis, ” wrote the representative of the Office of the Prosecutor, Kyle Hawkins.
Some 4,200 people had confirmed their attendance at the convention, down from other years (they even registered 10,000). Texas Republican leader James Dickey had considered holding the convention virtually, as Texan Democrats did in early June, such as “The last option”.