Controversial Travis County GOP chair removed because of presidential bid

Sarah Philips

Former Travis County GOP chairman Robert Morrow, infamous for his jester hat and controversial Twitter presence, will no longer serve as the head of the county party because his bid for the U.S. presidency makes him ineligible for the position.

“On Aug. 19, Robert Morrow filed a declaration of a write-in candidacy for president,” David Duncan, acting Travis County GOP chair, said at a press conference Friday. “That resulted in an immediate vacancy, just as if he had resigned.”

Morrow assumed his former position in June after winning the election with 54 percent of the vote and making headlines for calling Hillary Clinton a “bull dyke” and alleging that members of the Bush family should be imprisoned.

His rhetoric hasn’t changed since his election, besides withdrawing his support for the GOP presidential nominee, Donald Trump. A former Trump supporter, Morrow is running for president himself as a write-in candidate.

“I’m running for president against Donald Trump because I cannot support him,” Morrow said. “I just told local Republicans, ‘Your nominee is a child rapist, and I’m gonna run against him.’”

Morrow will be a write-in candidate in the state of Texas and acknowledges he knew running for president would conflict with his position in the county GOP.

“I suspected that it would,” Morrow said. “I didn’t have time to read the election code, but the election code is clear. You cannot be a county chair and a candidate for president at the same time.”

Morrow said he knew being removed from his political office was a possibility, but thought it was worth it to keep Trump out of the office.

Morrow has been seen on multiple occasions carrying a red sign that reads “Trump is a child rapist.” He was seen holding the sign while standing outside of Moody Theater where Trump was a guest on a taping of the Sean Hannity Show in Austin on Aug. 23.

Robert Guerra, vice president of UT College Republicans, said removing Morrow from office was a positive move for the GOP in Austin.

“I think it’s a good thing,” Guerra said. “I don’t think the history of the behavior that he has shown is the type of person that should be leading the GOP in the capitol.”

Guerra said Morrow being out of office doesn’t really mean anything in the long run. 

“I don’t think it will really matter,” Guerra said. “I think Travis County is going to vote for Hillary Clinton either way.”

Duncan is the current acting chairman of the county party. The executive committee will elect a replacement at their next meeting, according to Guerra.