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Abbott Weighs In on Controversial GOP Chairman.

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As the battle for control of the Travis County GOP heats up, and its newly elected chair writes increasingly raunchy tweets at breakneck speed, Gov. Greg Abbott has stepped into the fray to condemn his fellow Republican.

"Robert Morrow in no way speaks for the Republican Party or its values," read a statement from Abbott's office Thursday. "He cannot adequately represent the Travis County GOP."

Although Abbott rarely addresses controversies within his own party, the Travis County GOP - whose territory includes the governor's mansion - has been roiled by Morrow's recent election. Morrow, an outspoken conspiracy theorist who regularly opines on the sexual predilections of political leaders in both parties, was elected chair by a clear margin Tuesday night.

In a tweet, Morrow made it clear he disagreed with Abbott. "I am the elected face of the Travis Cty Republican party," he tweeted Thursday, citing Abbott's statement. "The people have spoken."

The party's vice-chair, Matt Mackowiak, has explicitly pledged to do everything he can to remove Morrow from office, or at least limit his power. He isn't the only one questioning Morrow's fitness to lead.

"Robert Morrow is a creep and that is a scriptural term," said Julie Hertenberger, a Travis County precinct chair. "I do not even want to be in the same room he is in."

But several other precinct chairs told The Texas Tribune they are ready to support their newly elected leader.

"I have known Robert Morrow for nearly a decade. He is one of the best grass roots organizers in the local liberty movement," precinct chair Stephen Schoppe told the Tribune in an email. "There are chairs who will probably pitch a fuss about Robert, however many of them could be generalized as ineffective sycophants."

Attorneys familiar with county election law told the Tribune that unless Morrow resigns or commits a felony, there is no legal mechanism in place for his removal.

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Publication:The Texas Tribune
Date:Mar 3, 2016
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