Montgomery County Judge Keough offers to host Republican convention after Houston cancellation

Montgomery County Judge Mark Keough (right) offered to host the state Republican Party convention in a Facebook video July 8. (Vanessa Holt/Community Impact Newspaper)
Montgomery County Judge Mark Keough (right) offered to host the state Republican Party convention in a Facebook video July 8. (Vanessa Holt/Community Impact Newspaper)

Montgomery County Judge Mark Keough (right) offered to host the state Republican Party convention in a Facebook video July 8. (Vanessa Holt/Community Impact Newspaper)

After the annual State Republican Party of Texas Convention was terminated July 8, Montgomery County Judge Mark Keough offered to host the convention in Montgomery County instead.



In a Facebook video, Keough criticized the cancellation of the convention because the city allowed about 60,000 residents to gather to protest the death of George Floyd on June 4.



“I believe that being able to protest is a First Amendment right, and I support that right,” Keough said. “I support the fact that political speech is also a First Amendment right, and what is equally important is that the Republican Party is responsible ... to have its convention at a certain time to meet the requirements of the November election.”



The convention was canceled by the venue operator after days of debate between the delegation and city officials, who said the potential gathering of 6,000 people posed a threat to the health and safety of attendees and workers due to the coronavirus outbreak. Some city and hospitality officials echoed Keough’s criticisms, while some health officials and workers defended the action.



Keough said if the Republican Party could handle the “logistics,” Montgomery County would host the convention.



“We will be great hosts. We will not put any political pressure on you. There will be no last-minute changes,” Keough said. “Montgomery County is open for business.”



As of July 8, Montgomery County has 1,032 active cases of COVID-19. The county reached a recent high July 6 with 1,061 cases.



Keough; his chief of staff, Jason Millsaps; and Misti Willingham, public information officer for Montgomery County Hospital District, have not responded from requests for comment.

By Andy Li
Originally from Boone, North Carolina, Andy Li is a graduate of East Carolina University with degrees in Communication with a concentration in Journalism and Political Science. While in school, he worked as a performing arts reporter, news, arts and copy editor and a columnist at the campus newspaper, The East Carolinian. He also had the privilege to work with NPR’s Next Generation Radio, a project for student journalists exploring radio news. Moving to Houston in May 2019, he now works as the reporter for the Conroe/Montgomery edition of Community Impact Newspaper.


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