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Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner in September. Photo: Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner (D) Wednesday called off the Texas Republican Party's in-person convention set for next week because of a statewide spike in coronavirus cases.

Driving the news: The Republican Party of Texas filed a lawsuit against Turner and the city of Houston on Thursday for a breach of contract and asked for a temporary restraining order to prevent the city from restricting convention center events.

  • “Mayor Turner canceled the convention because he wanted to, not due to any “act of God” – only due to his desire to do so and to hold the Republican Party of Texas to a different standard than other entities," Republican Party of Texas Chairman James Dickey stated.
  • Turner has pushed the state GOP to host its convention online and on Wednesday instructed the venue's operator to cancel its contract with the party.

What they're saying: "A letter has been sent to the (executive committee) of the state Republican Party by Houston First signed by the president and the chairman canceling this convention," Turner said at a press conference, according to CNN.

  • "These are some very serious times and the public safety of the people attending the convention, the employees, their family members, the people in the city of Houston — the public health concerns are first and foremost, paramount."

The big picture: Turner told CBS Sunday that the coronavirus outbreak in Houston could overwhelm its hospital system.

  • Houston's Harris County has reported more than 39,000 coronavirus cases, according to Johns Hopkins University.
  • On Tuesday, Texas reported a record 60 new deaths and 10,000 new cases. In total, it has seen more than 216,000 cases and at least 2,796 deaths.

Go deeper: At least 5 Republican senators say they will not attend GOP convention

Go deeper

Updated Oct 1, 2020 - Politics & Policy

The major police reforms enacted since George Floyd's death

Federal officers in Portland, Oregon on July 21. Photo: Nathan Howard/Getty Images

Nationwide Black Lives Matter protests sparked by George Floyd's killing have put new pressure on states and cities to scale back the force that officers can use on civilians.

Why it matters: Police reforms of this scale have not taken place since the inception of the Black Lives Matter movement in 2013, following George Zimmerman's acquittal for shooting Trayvon Martin, an unarmed Black teenager.

Off the Rails

Episode 5: The secret CIA plan

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer, Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Zach Gibson/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. This Axios series takes you inside the collapse of a president.

Episode 5: Trump vs. Gina — The president becomes increasingly rash and devises a plan to tamper with the nation's intelligence command.

In his final weeks in office, after losing the election to Joe Biden, President Donald Trump embarked on a vengeful exit strategy that included a hasty and ill-thought-out plan to jam up CIA Director Gina Haspel by firing her top deputy and replacing him with a protege of Republican Congressman Devin Nunes.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: CDC director defends agency's response to pandemic — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Empire State Building among hundreds to light up in Biden inauguration coronavirus tribute.
  3. Vaccine: Fauci: 100 million doses in 100 days is "absolutely" doable.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode again.
  5. Tech: Kids' screen time sees a big increase.