Texas Republicans vote to keep in-person July convention in Houston amid coronavirus pandemic

Leaders of the Texas Republican Party voted overwhelmingly in favor of an in-person convention Thursday night.

The 40-20 vote of the party’s executive board occurred as COVID-19 hit record levels statewide and in the Houston area.

The convention is set to take place July 16-18 at the Houston Convention Center. As many as 6,000 people could be there in two weeks.

The vote of the board to proceed happened after growing concern with some party members over holding an in-person event.

The Texas Medical Association withdrew its sponsorship of the event after the vote, saying it is not safe right now to have a large gathering of people.

Gov. Greg Abbott didn’t take a position, either way, on the convention when asked by FOX26 Houston in a Thursday evening interview before the vote.

"These people are very valuable, very important, to the Republican Party. My top concern for them is their health and safety. The last thing that I would want to have happen is for any of them to contract COVID-19 or worse, lose their lives over it,” Abbott said.

Texas Democrats held a virtual convention in June.