Tarrant County’s Republican Party Executive Committee voted overwhelmingly Thursday night to keep Southlake City Councilman and medical doctor Shahid Shafi as one of its vice chairs.

In a written statement following the 139 to 49 vote, Tarrant County GOP Chairman Darl Easton said, “This vote reaffirms the commitment by a majority of Tarrant County Republicans to our core values and moral compass, a demonstration of our allegiance to the Texas Republican Party Platform and the Constitutions of the United States and Texas, which strictly prohibit religious and racial discrimination of any kind.”

“We stand by the vote of the Tarrant County Republican Party to keep Dr. Shafi on as Vice Chairman,” said Republican Party of Texas Chairman James Dickey in a public statement. “Our platform clearly and unequivocally advocates religious freedom and non-discrimination. We have always and will continue to stand for religious freedom and for welcoming all who share our values into our party.”

Shafi, a general surgeon and longtime GOP activist, was selected by Easton to serve as vice chair for North Tarrant County and affirmed by the executive committee last July. A handful of precinct chairs objected to Shafi because of his religious faith; Shafi is a practicing Muslim.

Fellow Vice Chair Chris Garcia said following the vote, “Tarrant County Republicans stand strong for the Constitution, America’s core values, inalienable rights, and against bigotry. I am proud of my Co-Vice Chair, Dr. Shahid Shafi, for standing strong in the face of adversity with such grace and courage.”

TCRP precinct chairman and Texas Torchbearer Matthew Spano wrote in support of Shafi that he “holds conservative values and is true to those values when he speaks and votes. He is a man not filled with hate towards the United States, yet a man that fled Pakistan to pursue a better life in the United States.”

“Today, my faith in our party and our country has been reaffirmed,” Shafi wrote on his Facebook page:

“It is time to put this division to rest. I have no animosity towards my detractors, they are simply misguided. We now need to work together to heal, and grow our party, and we grow by adding conservative Americans of all types, not by subtracting certain groups. We need to inspire all people, especially the younger generation, to serve our country and achieve higher than we have. And we inspire people by the power of our ideas, the power of our ideals, and the power of hope for a better future for all of us. Regardless of when we arrived on this precious soil, we are all Americans, with equal rights and responsibilities. We are all guardians of this nation.”

“With today’s vote,” Shafi said, “we have sent a clear message to the entire nation that we continue to believe that all men are created equal.”

Erin Anderson

Erin Anderson is a Senior Journalist for Texas Scorecard, reporting on state and local issues, events, and government actions that impact people in communities throughout Texas and the DFW Metroplex. A native Texan, Erin grew up in the Houston area and now lives in Collin County.