Republican grassroots leaders in Ector County met in Odessa on Saturday, the Fourth of July, and passed a resolution calling for Gov. Greg Abbott to be censured under Texas GOP’s Rule 44.

The censure resolution passed by the party’s elected executive committee cites numerous violations of core principles of the party platform, as well as the United States and Texas Constitutions, by Abbott via his recent executive actions.

“[T]he Ector County Republican Party finds that Governor Greg Abbott violated the third provision of the core principles by failing to preserve the freedoms of Texans when he enacted executive orders that resulted in the denial of due process to millions of Texans, constituted takings without just compensation by closing businesses without just cause, denied the people the right to freedom of assembly, and imposed onerous mandates, fines, and imprisonment upon the people.”

The resolution concludes by calling for the censure to be sustained by the delegates at the Republican Party of Texas state convention, scheduled to be held later this month in Houston.

The Ector County Republican Party posted a statement to their Facebook page, saying that a similar resolution was submitted at the county party convention within the past few weeks, but the resolution was withdrawn because members didn’t feel the action was merited yet.

However, with Abbott’s recent executive actions mandating that all Texans wear face masks or face a $250 fine, the party says Abbott’s mandate put the issue over the top:

“On this day 244 years ago, our founding fathers fought for their independence, from a foe that issued mandates and collected excessive taxes. The Ector County Republican Executive Board decided it would be a fitting day for us to send a clear message to Governor Abbott. A message that we will no longer sit quietly while he overreaches his authority again, again, and again. He does this while ignoring the platform of the Republican Party. The very party whose grassroots voted him into office. So, on this 4th of July, Independence Day we, the Ector County Republican Executive Board, formally voted to censure Gov. Abbott.”

Soon after news broke that the resolutions passed, precinct chairs from across the state began reacting on social media and expressing interest in passing a similar resolution in their counties.

This pushback against Abbott’s executive overreach comes in addition to a multitude of local law enforcement officials, including Midland Mayor Patrick Payton, announcing they will not enforce the governor’s mandates.

Several state lawmakers have also criticized Abbott’s actions and issued calls for a special session of the Texas Legislature to address the state’s response to the Chinese coronavirus crisis.

Delegates to the 2018 RPT convention successfully censured former State Rep. Byron Cook, after the State Republican Executive Committee similarly censured then-Speaker of the House Joe Straus earlier that year.

An early draft of the Ector County resolution containing several typos was circulated on social media and by news outlets after the resolution passed. The final, corrected version can be viewed here.

Matt Stringer

Matthew Stringer is from Odessa, TX and serves as a West Texas Correspondent for Texas Scorecard.