HOUSTON — Yesterday, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said he was sending a letter to the head of the Texas Republican Party about the in-person convention planned for later this month. Today, we got a look at what he wrote.
The Texas GOP convention is scheduled to take place at the George R. Brown Convention Center from July 16 through July 18. Last week, in a 40-20 vote, committee members voted to move forward with the in-person convention.
During a news conference yesterday, Mayor Turner pleaded with the head of the GOP to make the conference virtual instead of in-person, but said if they do move forward with their plans, there are safety guidelines convention organizers have to take.
The full letter can be read below.
The Greater Houston Partnership echoed Mayor Turner’s concern, urging convention organizers to change their plans.
“In normal times we would welcome an event that was expected to draw some 6,000 delegates from across Texas to the George R. Brown Convention Center. Unfortunately, these are not normal times,” the letter read.
The Texas Republican Party responded with the following statement, which was issued last night. They say they still plan to move forward with the in-person convention with safety guidelines in place.
“The Republican Party of Texas has been in extensive conversations with Houston First - the managers of the George R. Brown Convention Center. We have been proactive in implementing safety measures such as thermal scans upon entry each day for each attendee, limited entryways, expanded floor plans to accommodate social distancing, hand sanitizer stations throughout, and available masks for all attendees. With these precautions currently in place, the Republican Party of Texas intends to proceed with an in-person Convention next week in Houston.
“In addition to nominating the individuals who will represent the party in the electoral college, a state convention of a political party is a fundamental exercise of the freedom to peaceably assemble and petition the government for redress. That need to assemble is important, and we are taking every precaution to ensure it is done safely.
“Mayor Turner must not have had the information about the measures being voluntarily implemented.
“The Republican Party, delegates, and guests are looking forward to a safe and productive Convention next week.”