In mid-July the Henderson County Republican Party voted to censure Gov. Greg Abbott, leaving local republicans to decide which side they’re on. A few weighed in on the issue of wearing masks and censure, while others wanted to clarify the censure and the real issues behind it.
Daniel Hunt contacted the Athens Review and wanted to clarify that the issue was not over masks at all, but rather an overstepping of the governor's authority without calling a special session with the legislature to follow up.
In spite of agreeing that safety measures needed to be taken, the disagreement was based on the way they were enacted.
“The resolution we passed was not about face masks at all,” Hunt stated. “The issue we had was with the executive orders. Many times we agree with the orders, we disagree with the way he is doing it.”
Hunt said the constitution requires Gov. Abbott to call a special session within 30 days including the legislature to review the orders, decide their validity and whether they should continue beyond the original 30 days.
He said the HCRP thinks it would be better to get all of the information to local elected officials to determine how to best address the issues in their communities.
Hunt expressed agreement with the Governor on the orders being valid, and said he felt certain most local officials would agree. Hunt reinforced that the issue was never face masks at all, but rather the lack of following constitutional protocols.
“One concern was that he didn’t call a special session,” Hunt stated. “Secondly, in a state as big and diverse as Texas, we feel it would have been better to leave it up to the local leaders.”
Dallas and Houston have different needs than smaller rural areas, and the HCRP said it wanted local officials who know the unique needs of their residents to have input on the orders going forward.
The decision for censure was based on a resolution passed by several other Texas counties that originated in Ector County. The full resolution is attached online.
The censure falls under rules of the Republican Party of Texas:
"Whereas, Rule 44 of the Republican Party of Texas provides that District Executive Committee may by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of those present and voting, adopt a resolution censuring a Republican public or party office holder representing all or a portion of that County or District for three (3) or more actions taken during the current biennium in opposition to the core principles of the Republican Party of Texas defined in the Preamble of the Party Platform as described in Rule No. 43A, and that said resolution may request that the offending official be penalized under the resolution;"
The next step is for the resolutions committee to consider and recommend either adopting or not adopting it to the full convention which would be decided by a vote. If the resolution is adopted by the delegates to the convention, whenever that resumes, the party would publicly reprimand the governor. The party could then refuse to give campaign funds and even endorse the Governors opponent, if he chose to run again.
“The accurate information is that many Texas counties had previously adopted an identical resolution,” Hunt stated.
"That resolution was forwarded to me by the County Chairs of other counties. After researching and verifying the Resolution and its many references and claims, I called a special meeting of the HCRP Executive Committee and presented the Resolution to them for consideration. As Chairman, I conducted the meeting but took no position on whether it should be adopted or not. The Committee did thoroughly consider all aspects of the Resolution. After discussing and debating all aspects of the resolution, and the effects and repercussions of such, the Committee voted to adopt the Resolution of Censure.”
Many times we agree with the orders, we disagree with the way he is doing it,” Hunt stated.
The Lone Star Republican Club also issued a statement regarding the issue.
“The Lone Star Republican Club does not support or condone the Resolution of Censure,” stated Anna Fontana, LSRC president.
If you would like more information regarding this topic, or to join the LSRC or to get involved with party activities via the HCRP, please contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org or LSRC at lonestarRC2020@gmail.com.