On Wednesday evening, the Republican Executive Committee of Montgomery County — the third largest county in Texas that votes for Republicans more often than the rest of the state — unanimously voted to censure Governor Greg Abbott.
The resolution condemns Abbott for violating the party’s principles by “repeatedly creating law via executive order.”
It cites many of the actions Abbott has taken in the past several months, including the awarding of a $295 million contract for contact tracing “without legislative approval or oversight,” mandating masks with a threat of fines against individuals, and locking down the state by closing businesses and restricting social gatherings.
“At the end of the day, what our governor started has rolled beyond what needed to happen,” said State Republican Executive Committee (SREC) member Walter West II at the meeting.
The committee’s confirmation of the resolution follows similar resolutions passed by other county Republican executive committees censuring the governor.
Jeff Axelrod, a GOP precinct chair in Collin County, told The Texan that he would be presenting a similar resolution to the county party on Thursday evening, and other counties are rumored to be considering the measure as well.
Rule 44 of the Republican Party of Texas, which gives the authority for the censures, allows executive committees to request the GOP state convention to consider agreeing with the resolution and imposing penalties on the officeholder.
Like Ector County, the Montgomery County committee requested that the state convention agree with the censure and impose all penalties on Abbott.
If only the counties censure the governor without the support of the state delegates, the grassroots measures will have little effect other than demonstrating the frustration many in the party have with Abbott’s executive orders.
But if the convention passes a majority vote to censure him, rules requiring neutrality by the party in primary or runoff elections would not apply to Abbott and the Republican Party of Texas would be prohibited from providing “financial or other support” to Abbott’s campaign until the next convention in 2022.
Shortly before the committee meeting on Wednesday night, Montgomery County Judge Mark Keough also invited the state Republican party to host its convention in Montgomery County.
On Wednesday, the Houston First Corporation, a city-owned entity that manages Houston’s convention centers, sent a letter to the GOP terminating its contract to hold the convention next week.
“If you can make the logistics work, [. . .] we will be great hosts, we will not put any political pressure on you, there will be no last-minute changes. All that we ask is that you follow the same guidelines that you agreed to when you agreed to have it within the city of Houston. Montgomery County is open for business,” said Keough.
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Daniel Friend is a reporter for The Texan. He participated in a Great Books program at Azusa Pacific University and graduated in 2019 with a degree in Political Science. He has studied C.S. Lewis’s science fiction trilogy and in his spare time you might find him writing his own novel partly inspired by the series.