Texas Politics

Texas State Parties Prepare for Conventions — Virtual or In Person

Vice President Mike Pence floated the idea of the Republican National Convention being moved to Texas

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President Donald Trump has threatened to pull the Republican National Convention out of North Carolina, if the governor doesn't immediately signal he will allow the large gathering in August.

In an interview on Fox News Monday, Vice President Mike Pence floated the idea of Texas as one of the states to hold it.

“We would love to have the national convention, and we would do a fantastic job,” Texas Republican Party Chairman James Dickey said.

The Republicans will be holding their own state convention this year in person, in Houston. They pushed back the dates from May to July because of the coronavirus pandemic. Dickey said they initially expected record numbers of attendees -- more than 15,000 -- but now expect about half the number. He cited COVID-19, the economy that resulted from it and schedule conflicts because of the date change, as some of the reasons for the change in number. Dickey said the party can hold a convention safely.

“We are going to do our part to space out the attendees at the convention, to encourage a lot of use of hand sanitizer, we are going to have a lot of hand sanitizer stations, and encourage to people as we always have, and as we always will, to be personally responsible,” said Dickey.

The Texas Democratic National convention will look much different this year.  It is virtual. Democrats canceled their in-person event in San Antonio because of COVID-19.

Normally, Democratic Chairman Gilberto Hinojosa said between 8,000 and 9,000 thousand people attend, but Democrats believe they could have a larger reach by moving it online.

“We think we are going to have as many or more people because they will be able to participate online,” Hinojosa said. “People, all they have to do is just get online and listen to the speeches from their home, and I think get a lot of the same information and motivated as we would have had we been together in a large convention hall."

And if the national Republican Party comes to Texas?

“If they allow it, then so be it. It is not going to make a difference in the election,” Hinojosa said.

The state Democratic convention begins Monday, and Texas Democrats announced Tuesday that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will be a special guest.

Pelosi released the following statement.

“It is an honor to join Democrats from the Lone Star State and share my message of belief, hope, and opportunity during the Texas Democratic Convention. As I’ve stated previously, Texas is ground zero for this election. The big and bold work happening at the Texas Democratic Party is why we will strengthen our House Democratic Majority, elect more Democrats across the state, and elect a Democratic President of the United States, Joe Biden, in November.” 

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