As Republican Convention Kicks Off, Greg Abbott Addresses State Shutdown Rumors

This week in Texas politics with The Texas Tribune.

By Rhonda FanningJuly 17, 2020 12:52 pm, , ,

It’s time for the week that was in Texas politics with Alex Samuels, political reporter for The Texas Tribune.

On Thursday, the Texas State Republican Convention got off to a rocky start with technical difficulties. Samuels said the virtual convention appeared to be having trouble with its “online credentialing process,” which led to an “hourslong delay.” Party leaders voted to postpone the remainder of the convention until Saturday. The convention was originally going to be held in person at a Houston convention center, but Mayor Sylvester Turner canceled the even for fear it would worsen the coronavirus crisis in his city.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbot spoke to the convention via prerecorded video on Thursday. He addressed the statewide face-mask mandate that isn’t popular among some Republicans.

“He just told delegates, ‘you know, I know some of you guys are frustrated with this mandate, but this is what we have to do to help curb the spread of coronavirus in the state,'” Samuels said.

Meanwhile, the left-leaning Beat Abbott PAC, is raising money to defeat Abbott in 2022. The group is dissatisfied with his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, and would use the money to support a Democratic challenger running against Abbott if he chooses to run for reelection.

In more coronavirus news, Abbott quashed rumors that the state would be shutting down again because of rising coronavirus cases. But that contradicts a statement he made last week that if Texans didn’t follow the mask mandate, a shutdown would be the next step to curb the virus’ spread.

“This week, he’s striking a much different tone, and emphasizing that rumors of an imminent lockdown are not true,” Samuels said.

Web story by Caroline Covington.

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