Elections 2022Wise County GOP Censures Gov. Greg Abbott Over Pandemic Orders, Lack of Legislative Vaccine Mandate Ban

By a unanimous vote, the Wise County GOP voted to censure Gov. Greg Abbott, a motion which was then referred to the state party.
January 12, 2022
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The top Republican elected official in Texas, Governor Greg Abbott, was formally censured on Tuesday evening by the Wise County GOP.

“As the Governor of Texas, Abbott has done some great things. However, in the last few years his ideals and some actions, especially on personal liberties, have not lined up with the vast majority of his Texas constituents or the Republican Party of Texas platform,” Wise County GOP Chairman Eric Marney told The Texan.

“Millions of Texas residents and businesses have been substantially impacted by the Governor’s over-reach with his use of emergency powers and his lack of action in protecting Texas residents from the federal government. Lawsuits against the federal government are a mighty tool that we must use but we also require our elected state officials to take action and become ‘THE’ leader among states standing up for its residents in every form possible!”

Under Rule 44 of the Republican Party of Texas (RPT) rules, an elected official or party official may be censured by a county executive committee. It requires a two-thirds vote by the committee, and Wise County’s was unanimous.

The motion cites several grievances against the governor, tying in RPT principles that were allegedly violated. Those are:

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  • Abbott’s refusal to call another special legislative session to legislatively ban vaccine mandates
  • The lack of a ban on chemical castration and gender-changing surgeries for children on the special session calls
  • “Fail[ure] to adequately protect the southern border of Texas from foreign invasion”
  • The “extremism training” for Texas’ military forces mandated by the federal government
  • “Creating law via executive order”
  • His role in closing beaches and localities closing churches
  • Enrolling the state in a $295 million contact tracing program
  • Mask mandates, limitations of gatherings, business closures, and essential versus nonessential designations

“We request this censure be considered and sustained by the delegates of the Republican Party State Convention assembled, and that the penalties provided in RPT Rule 44 be imposed,” the document adds. The RPT announced earlier this week the dates of its 2022 convention, June 16-18 in Houston.

Those penalties cited by the local party include the withholding of any “financial or other support” from the party, annulment of the intra-party neutrality rule, and the “discourage[ment] from participating” in the primary election following the censure.

“In addition to being filled with numerous factual errors about Governor Abbott’s record, the resolution also called for the Republican Party of Texas state convention to adopt Rule 44 penalties against Governor Abbott,” Mark McCaig, chairman of the Texas Republican Initiative, told The Texan.

“These penalties would prohibit the Republican Party of Texas from providing any kind of support, financial or otherwise, to Governor Abbott’s general election campaign against Beto O’Rourke. Not only would these penalties aid Beto’s campaign, such a move would also hurt down-ballot Republicans as well.”

Abbott was censured by at least eight county Republican parties in 2020 during the pandemic’s height. The Wise County GOP, representing a small county northwest of Fort Worth, was not among those in 2020.

The governor faces three main primary challengers before a prospective showdown with Democrat Beto O’Rourke in November.

The RPT declined to comment and the Abbott campaign did not return a request for comment.

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Brad Johnson

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.