2020 REPUBLICAN STATE CONVENTION
July 16th – 18th
HOUSTON Convention Center
WHAT – WHEN – HOW

Congratulations on your election as a delegate or alternate to the 2020 Texas Republican State Convention!  This handout is intended to help you know where you need to be each day and what to expect in each of the Caucuses and General Sessions.  As always, with an event this large, things may change; however, this should give you a good idea of the timeline.  I am not including events here – this addresses ONLY the Caucuses and General Sessions.  For event information, please see the RPT schedule at Texasgop.org.

Thursday – July 16th

9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. – First General Session – Seating is by SD
This session is the official call to order.  You will elect the Permanent Convention Chair, hear Credential Challenges, vote on Supplemental Rules the Convention will follow, adopt the Agenda and hear from the candidates for Chair and Vice-Chair

  • Call To Order
  • Temporary Committee Reports, including Credential challenges
  • Vote on Supplementary Rules and Agenda
  • Hear from some of our Statewide Elected Officials
  • Hear from Candidates for State Chair and Vice Chair

11:30 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. – First Senatorial Caucus – delegate strength voting

  • Elect Permanent Senatorial Caucus Chair
  • Elect Permanent Committee Members – Credentials, Rules, Platform, Legislative Priorities

1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. – First Congressional Caucus – one person - one vote

  • Elect Permanent Congressional Caucus Chair
  • Elect National Nominations Committee Member (serves on Committee to select At-Large Delegates)

Friday – July 17th

8:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. – Second Senatorial Caucus – delegate strength voting

  • Vote for State Chair – It takes a majority win in 16 SD Caucuses to be elected State Chair
  • Vote for Vice Chair - It takes a majority win in 16 SD Caucuses to be elected Vice Chair
  • Elect SREC Committeewoman
  • Elect SREC Committeeman
  • Elect STATE Nominations Committee Member (serves on Committee that reports the SD Caucus votes for the State positions).

 

2020 State Convention
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Friday – July 17th Cont.

10:00 a.m. – 11:45 a.m. – Second General Session – Seating is by SD – delegate strength voting

  • Credentials Committee Report (vote on recommendations regarding challenges)
  • STATE Nominations Report – (It is possible a Roll Call Vote could be called during this report regarding the Chair and/or Vice Chair race).  If a candidate for Chair or Vice-Chair wins at least 3 caucuses, they have the right to be nominated from the floor. 

1:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. – Third General Session – Seating is by SD – delegate strength voting

  • Hear from some of our statewide elected officials
  • Hear from Candidates for National Committeeman and Committeewoman
  • Debate and adoption of Rules Committee Report
  • Debate and adoption of Platform Committee Report. 

NOTE:  As in the past two conventions, as delegates, you will have the opportunity to vote on each individual plank of the platform on a paper ballot.  Once the Permanent Platform Committee adjourns on Thursday night, the platform will be sent to the printer so the copies of the platform will be available as always. It will also be put online for delegates to look at if they choose.  On Friday, after debate, amendments have occurred, and the question is called, the ballots will be available for you to mark and return to the Lead for your county.  You may not take the ballots with you out of the General Session Hall. 

Saturday – July 18th

8:00 a.m. – TBD – Second Congressional Caucus – one person – one vote

  • Elect three Delegates and three Alternates (from the Congressional District to the National Convention)
  • Elect Elector (Representative to the Electoral College)
  • Vote for National Committeeman
  • Vote for National Committeewoman

1:30 p.m. – TBD – Fourth General Session – Seating is by CD – one person - one vote          

  • Remarks from Governor Abbott, Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, presentation of Congressmen, Texas Legislature, Judges, and Auxiliaries
  • Report of the National Nominations Committee - (It is possible a Roll Call Vote could be called during this report regarding the RNC Committeeman and/or Committeewoman race). 

ADJOURN

**There will be a SREC meeting after adjournment that you are welcome to attend!  Directly after that, there will be a meeting of the 155 National Delegates. 

 

2020 REPUBLICAN STATE CONVENTION
JULY 16th – 18th
George R Brown Convention Center

HOW DOES THAT WORK?

There have been many questions about how things work at the convention.  This handout will cover the most common questions - voting on the platform, the national delegate process, and how the state chair and vice chair are selected.

THE PLATFORM PROCESS
The platform process actually starts at the Precinct Convention level, with the resolutions that were voted on by the delegates to each of these conventions.  These work their way up to through the County/Senatorial Conventions to the State Conventions and will be considered by the members of the Platform Committee. 

The Temporary Platform Committee begins meeting on Monday, July 13th and continues through Wednesday, July 15th.  These are open meetings and Delegates, Alternates, and Guests are welcome to attend.  Any Delegate or Alternate may testify before a subcommittee or the Platform Committee as a whole. 

On Thursday at 3:30 p.m., the Permanent Platform Committee will convene and begin to finalize the report it will present to the delegates.  Once it adjourns on Thursday evening, the platform will be sent to the printer, and also placed online for the Delegates and Alternates to view.  I do not know at this time if the online report will be public or on a secure site.  The printed platforms will be placed in the Delegate’s chairs on Friday.   

The Platform Report will be given during the Friday afternoon General Session.  There will be amendments proposed, debate, and at some point, a Delegate will inevitably “call the question.”  Calling the question is a non-debatable motion that, if passed, ends debate.  Once again this year, the plan is to allow the delegates to vote on the platform plank by plank.

This sounds like a daunting task – but there are several reasons for the reason this was changed in 2016.  In years past, there has been a great deal of frustration from the delegates, who felt they didn’t have the opportunity to really have a voice in what was in the platform.  By allowing all of the delegates to vote on each plank, it does several things 1) It empowers them to have more of a voice.  Instead of only having input on 3 or 4 issues, they have the ability to weigh in on all of them; 2) Delegates will read the platform to know how to vote, therefore, having a better understanding of the document that sets the direction and tone of the Republican Party; 3) We will have a count for how many votes were cast for a particular plank.  So, if 8,250 Delegates (out of a possible 9,000) voted for a particular plank, it will be understood that it has broad support – in other words it is quantifiable – giving more teeth to the individual planks. 

How will this process work?  Each Caucus Chair will have sealed envelopes for each of their counties with printed scantron ballots.  Each County Chair, or lead of a County Delegation will come and get the ballots for their individual counties.  Each plank in the Platform Booklet will be numbered and the corresponding number will be on the printed ballot with the options of “Include” or “Do Not Include.”  You will be given pencils and I believe a piece of cardboard to use in marking your ballot.  This works just like a paper ballot on Election Day – if you don’t want to weigh in on that particular plank, don’t vote.  It will be counted as an undervote.  Otherwise, choose one of the two options.  If you have an issue, let your county chair know.  We have a process for spoiled ballots.  The ballots will be collected by the County Chair or Lead of the Delegation and returned to the Caucus Chair.  The ballots will be taken to the counting room. 

Some things to be aware of:

  • There will not be  “Include everything” option.
  • NO ballots will be allowed to leave the general session.
  • There is not a time limit to fill the ballots out – everyone can do this at their own pace, but once the voting starts, we will not recess until it is completed. There is a small chance that we will have to return after the Gala to finish the debate of the Platform.  This was the case in 2014.  It is important that we complete the business of the Convention.   

NATIONAL DELEGATE PROCESS
National Delegates will be chosen through both the Congressional Caucuses and by the National Nominations Committee.  Each Congressional Caucus will elect 3 Delegates and 3 Alternates to attend the National Convention by secret ballot.  The National Nominations Committee will select the other 47 Delegates and Alternates.  Each of the 155 Delegates will be bound through the 1st TWO rounds of voting to a particular candidate at the National Convention.  Per the primary vote, the Presidential Candidates are allotted the following number of Delegates

At Large Delegates:               Congressional Caucus Delegates
TRUMP - 47                           ALL CD DELEGATES AND ALTERNATES WERE WON BY PRESIDENT TRUMP

If you would like to apply to be a National Delegate for an At Large slot, there is an application on the RPT website.  It is suggested that you submit the application by the deadline in order for the RPT to include it in the packets given to the National Nominations Committee Members.  Otherwise, if you would like for them to have a copy of your application, you can make 40 copies and pass them out yourself when you interview.  The National Nominations report cannot be amended – it is an up or down vote by the Delegates.

STATE CHAIR AND VICE-CHAIR ELECTION
Each Senatorial Caucus will hold a vote for each of these positions.  By RPT rules, it will be by secret ballot.  The candidate who receives 50% +1 in each race is considered to have “won” that caucus.  During that same Senatorial Caucus, we will elect someone to serve on the State Nominations Committee.  The person elected to this position takes our caucus votes on the State Chair and Vice-Chair to the State Nominations.  However, they are only bound to the wishes of the Caucus on the 1st round of voting.  It is unusual that there is more than one round of voting unless there are three or more candidates for one position. 

A candidate must “win” at least 16 of the 31 Senatorial District Caucus Votes in order to secure the nomination from the Nominations Committee.  If no one receives a majority of votes, then additional rounds of voting take place until one candidate obtains a majority.  When the State Nominations Committee makes its report during the General Session Friday morning, there will be a vote to accept or a motion to amend with the name of another candidate.  By RPT rules, a candidate must have “won” at least three of the Senatorial District Caucus Votes in order to be nominated from the floor, or have a written petition of at least 20% of the Delegates.

 

2020 REPUBLICAN STATE CONVENTION
July 16th – 18th
George R Brown Convention Center

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
I have received several questions that I will attempt to answer on this handout.  I am sure I will not cover everything; so if you have a question that does not get addressed, please let me know – if you don’t know, chances are someone else is wondering the same thing!

DO I HAVE TO PRE-REGISTER?
No – but it is ADVISABLE.  It will save time when you get your credentials.  If you have already pre-registered, your credentials and any event tickets you have registered for will be ready for you and you will be able to use one of the kiosks to obtain the credentials immediately.  You may pre-register at https://events.american-tradeshow.com/txgopfederal20

If you have not pre-registered, you will need to go to the Accounting Office Onsite to register and purchase any event tickets.  Then you will have to return to the kiosk to get the credentials.  Also keep in mind that these events really need a head count so they can plan for food and space considerations.   In some cases, the event you want to attend will have limited seating, and you will not be able to attend it.    

WHY ARE THEY CHARGING A FACILITY FEE
The facility fee is requested to help defer the cost of the convention.  It costs close to 1.5 million dollars to put on this convention.  Booth sales from different organizations, candidates, and exhibitors will only cover part of that cost. 

DO I HAVE TO HAVE A PHOTO ID TO PICK UP MY CREDENTIALS
YES, you must have a photo ID to pick up your credentials.

CAN I PICK UP MY SPOUSES CREDENTIALS
Each person really needs to pick up their own so they can show the ID. 

WILL I GET MY TICKETS TO THE EVENTS I REGISTERED FOR WHEN I PICK UP CREDENTIALS
Actually, there will be no paper tickets.  There will be a bar code on your credentials that has all of the events programed onto it.  (Another reason to pre-register.)  As a back-up, they are suggesting that everyone keep the e-mail confirmation they receive. 

HOW WILL I KNOW WHERE TO GO DURING CONVENTION
When you pick up your credentials, you will also be given a program that will have a schedule, events, a map and other helpful information.  You will also be given a souvenir convention bag – this is great for carrying all of your goodies around (or maybe a pair of comfortable walking shoes)!  Also, there is an app called ATTENDIFY.  Download it to your phone, and you will get real time information during the convention!

 

HOW DO I REGISTER FOR THE CONVENTION AND THE DIFFERENT EVENTS
Go to Texasgop.org.  On the Convention tab on the top right side of the page, there is a drop down for 2020 State Convention.  Here you will find all sorts of links – from registering for the convention and booking a hotel, to information on transportation options and information on the different events - like the Faith and Fellowship gathering or the breakout sessions offered in Abbott University.  Click on the “click here to register”

 

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WHAT IS THE DRESS CODE?                                                                                                                
Comfortable and patriotic!  Seriously, during the majority of the convention, you will see people dressed in everything from business, to business casual, to jeans and a nice shirt.  The key is to be comfortable and make sure that you wear or bring comfy shoes.  You will not have a good experience if your feet are killing you! 

Keep in mind there are events that will be going on that will be a little dressier, such as the Gala, the TFRW Tribute, and the Congressional Lunch to name a few.  If you are planning to attend one of these, plan accordingly. 

CAN I BRING MY GUN?
Concealed and Open Carry rules apply.  There may be some restriction on this if we have a “Special Guest” that requires Secret Service protection.  At this point, we have not heard if this is the case.  We will do our best to let you know if you need to leave your gun in your hotel room.  We will also push the information out through the ATTENDIFY app!

ARE MASK REQUIRED?
At this point, masks are optional, but not required.  If you choose not to wear a mask, please respect those that do, and keep an appropriate distance. 

WILL THERE BE SOCIAL DISTANCING?
We are allowing for 50% more room in the caucus areas.  If you have a caucus of 400, we are putting you in a space that will hold 800.  There are those who do not wish to social distance, but please respect the wishes of those that do.  If you do not want to sit near someone else, there is also room at the back of the caucus for you to stand. 

GENERAL INFORMATION
The George R Brown has dramatically increased the number of hand sanitizer stations in the Convention Center.  In addition, they will be cleaning common areas such as handrails, in between caucuses, bathrooms, etc. an increased number of times.  Make sure that you are washing your hands thoroughly throughout the day.  **If you feel sick – PLEASE respect the health and safety of others and stay home!  We will have EMS there, and Dr. Robin Armstrong will be on site and has agreed to be available.
 
SHOULD I BRING ANYTHING ELSE?
You don’t have to, but there are some things that might come in handy:

  • Hand Sanitizer and Handi Wipes
  • Chargers for phone and laptop. 
  • Business Cards – this is a GREAT place to network!
  • Cash – for food, or items you might want in the exhibit hall.  There will be food carts in the exhibit hall.
  • Pen/notepad – some people like to take notes, or take contact info of people they meet who forgot their business cards.
  • Snacks – these are long days and it comes in handy if you have something to tide you over until you can get an actual meal.  Things that work well – bars (protein, or snack bars), peanut butter and crackers, nuts/trail mix, etc.  Some people bring fruit, but if it has a peal, then you are stuck with it until you can get to a trashcan.  You might want to bring a water bottle as well. 
  • Band aids – sounds silly, but you might be amazed at the number of people who have needed these over the years.

ARE THERE ELECTRIC SCOOTERS AVAILABLE
Yes – to rent.  There is information about the scooters available on the RPT website, with the rest of the links.  If you contact them ahead of time, the scooter will be ready for you.

OTHER QUESTIONS
If you think of other questions please do not hesitate to let me know.  My cell is 940-300-8502 and my e-mail is neon_deon@verizon.net.