A federal judge ruled Friday afternoon that the Texas GOP can hold an in-person convention in Houston this month, after Democratic Mayor Sylvester Turner canceled the event due to COVID-19 concerns.
The lawsuit seeking to overturn Turner’s decision was filed by anti-LGBT hate group leader Steve Hotze, and later joined by the Republican Party of Texas.
The Texas Tribune reports: Jared Woodfill, an attorney for Houston activist Steve Hotze, who helped file the lawsuit, said Judge Lynn Hughes ruled that the party can hold an in-person convention both this weekend and next weekend — and “that the City of Houston may not interfere with it.” According to Woodfill, Hughes concluded that the state party, which joined the lawsuit Friday, “made a good-faith effort to have a virtual convention” and that Houston put the party “in an untenable position to do it [virtually] in a very short period of time.” Earlier this week, the party’s State Republican Executive Committee voted to move the convention online after losing separate legal battles to proceed with an in-person gathering, which was set to take place Thursday through Saturday at Houston’s George R. Brown Convention Center before Houston officials canceled it.
The Texas GOP’s virtual convention, scheduled to kick off Thursday, had been postponed until Saturday due to technical problems.
Texas on Friday reported 174 coronavirus deaths, a daily record for the state.