Even staunch supporters are taking issue with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s stance on mask orders.
Calling it “an overreach of power by our elected officials,” the Texas Federation of Republican Women—the most powerful women’s political organization in Texas—joined a host of Republican lawmakers and voters who are speaking out against local mask orders that were given the green light by Abbott.
On Thursday morning, TFRW sent an “action alert” asking members to “Tell Governor Abbott ‘No’ to Face Mask Mandates.”
TFRW’s email referenced a letter sent Tuesday by mayors of several Texas cities.
The mayors asked Abbott to give local officials the authority to enforce wearing face masks. TFRW urged Abbott to stand by his ban on local mask orders:
“PLEASE contact Governor Abbott and ask him to deny this request. You can send him an email through the state website. Many election judges and other election workers have said they will not work on July 14th if they are forced to wear masks.
“If you agree that this is an overreach of power by our elected officials, please do not wait. Let your voices be heard!”
One Democrat official didn’t wait for Abbott’s permission.
On Wednesday, Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff signed an executive order requiring local business owners to mandate masks for customers and employees or pay fines of $1,000 for each incident.
Later that day, Abbott stunned supporters by saying Wolff’s order aligned with his own.
“Government cannot require individuals to wear masks,” Abbott said in an interview. “However, pursuant to my plan, local governments can require stores and businesses to require masks.”
Abbott said that had been part of his plan all along.
“Now local officials are just now realizing that that was authorized,” he added.
Several Democrat officials, including Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins, have said they will pursue local mask mandates too, now that Abbott has given them the go-ahead, while Republicans grow increasingly frustrated by what they see as Abbott’s overreach and lack of leadership.