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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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 

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