A spokesman from the Texas GOP said the governor has not accepted their invitation.
“To date, Governor Abbott has not accepted our invitation to sponsor the convention or address the delegates,” James Wesolek, a party spokesman, said in a statement to The Texan.
“We have invited all of our leading GOP statewide officials to sponsor and speak at the Republican convention this month because it is so important that Republicans enter the 2022 election cycle unified and strong.”
“The Republican Party of Texas is grateful for the support we received from Senators Cornyn and Cruz, Lt. Gov. Patrick, Attorney General Paxton, and so many of our other statewide and Congressional officeholders and candidates who have sponsored our convention and will be addressing the nearly 10,000 delegates in attendance.”
A spokesman for the Abbott campaign told The Texan, “Governor Abbott is sponsoring the welcome reception for the convention Thursday evening for delegates, alternatives, and guests. This will be, by far, the best welcome reception in years with special guests, games, food, and more. And it will be the largest sponsorship at this year’s convention.”
“Governor Abbott and First Lady Abbott are excited to join the delegates and look forward to hosting a kick off to what will be the beginning of a great Republican wave growing across the state.”
The biennial Republican Party of Texas convention is the largest state convention in the country, and is often referred to as the larges political gathering in the world. At the event, delegates hear from GOP elected officials, debate and establish the party platform, and elect the chair and vice chair of the party for the coming cycle.
This year’s event is scheduled for June 16 through 18 at Houston’s George R. Brown Convention Center.
The 2020 in-person convention was canceled at the last minute by the City of Houston which sparked litigation for damages that continue to linger. Instead, the party tried to cobble together a virtual convention which became a famous disaster with loads of technical problems.
Now under the leadership of former state representative Matt Rinaldi — who won a special election to replace Allen West as chair once he decided to primary Abbott in the gubernatorial race — the convention is set to be back in person. Before taking the position, Rinaldi endorsed Abbott’s primary opponent Don Huffines. But shortly after his election, Rinaldi rescinded that endorsement.
Thousands of Republicans from across the state are set to attend.
Update: On June 3, the Republican Party of Texas tweeted and welcomed Abbott as a “major sponsor to the 2022 Texas GOP Convention.”
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Brad Johnson is a senior reporter for The Texan and an Ohio native who graduated from the University of Cincinnati in 2017. He is an avid sports fan who most enjoys watching his favorite teams continue their title drought throughout his cognizant lifetime. In his free time, you may find Brad quoting Monty Python productions and trying to calculate the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow.