The Big Conversation
Top GOP officials say the chairman of the Travis County Republican Party, Robert Morrow, ended his tenure on his own after choosing to enter the race for U.S. president as a write-in candidate.
Morrow won the county chairman election in March, earning 54 percent of the vote and unseating incumbent James Dickey. However, he's been at the center of controversy since taking office. He's accused many politicians of adultery, murder and pedophilia, and he attended Donald Trump's Tuesday campaign rally in Austin with a jester hat and large sign that read, "Trump is a Child Rapist."
As the Tribune's Patrick Svitek reports, party leaders have made previous attempts to limit Morrow's power due to his controversial remarks. In a statement, state GOP Chairman Tom Mechler said Morrow "became ineligible to hold the office of Travis County Republican Chair," despite claims from Morrow himself that "they don’t have the grounds to [oust him.]"
A news conference is being held Friday morning where the party is expected to decide on Morrow's fate. The chairman, however, doesn't seem willing to step down quietly. Morrow told the Tribune, “if other people attempt to pull a coup like this, there will be trouble. The bottom line is the Texas voters, the Republican Party, have spoken."
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The Day Ahead
Tribune CEO Evan Smith conducts a lunch-hour discussion with South Texas legislators, state Sen. Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa and state Reps. R.D. "Bobby" Guerra and Terry Canales. The event takes place at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley campus in Edinburg and will be livestreamed on the Tribune’s website for those unable to attend in person.
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Quote to Note
"There is absolutely no place for rhetoric as distasteful as Mr. Morrow’s in the Republican Party of Texas. We are excited to move forward with the Travis County GOP and the new incoming Chair as soon as an election is held to fill the position."
— State GOP Chairman Tom Mechler, in a statement regarding controversial Travis County GOP chairman Robert Morrow
Today in TribTalk
New med students embody Rio Grande Valley's progress, by state Rep. R.D. "Bobby" Guerra — But another fashion statement that made local headlines recently portrays a much more accurate picture of life in Hidalgo County. It’s one of optimism, empowerment and a community that is actively shaping its own future: white coats.
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Trib Events for the Calendar
• San Antonio & the Legislature: The Election and Beyond on Sept. 14 at University of Texas at San Antonio – Downtown Campus
• The Texas Tribune Festival on Sept. 23-25 at the University of Texas at Austin
• The Washington Post's Politics & Pints with Chris Cillizza: TTF Edition on Sept. 24 at Scholz Garten
• TribFeast: A Dinner To Support Nonprofit Journalism on Sept. 24 at the University of Texas at Austin's Etter-Harbin Alumni Center
• A Conversation with state Reps. Four Price and John Smithee on Oct. 4 at Amarillo College in Amarillo
• A Conversation with state Reps. Andrew Murr and Jason Isaac on Nov. 14 at Schreiner University in Kerrville