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Texas GOP chair candidate tried to confront wife’s alleged lover with a loaded gun, police say

By Robert Downen, The Texas Tribune

Texas GOP chair candidate tried to confront wife’s alleged lover with a loaded gun, police say” was first published by The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.

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Police were called last year to the home of Abraham George — a frontrunner to lead the Republican Party of Texas — as he was leaving with a loaded gun to confront a man he believed was having an affair with his wife.

George, 44, was not arrested or charged, and officers reported that they found no injuries or property damage at the scene. He did not immediately respond to a request for comment for this story.

George is one of three current candidates to replace outgoing Texas GOP Chair Matt Rinaldi, who announced last week that he would not seek reelection at this year’s Republican state convention. Minutes after Rinaldi said he would step down, George announced his own candidacy — which was then immediately endorsed by Rinaldi, Attorney General Ken Paxton and other right-wing Republicans.

An incident report obtained by The Texas Tribune shows that on March 11, 2023, police were dispatched to George’s home in Parker, Collin County for a “domestic disturbance” that was called in by his young children.

[Texas GOP chair Matt Rinaldi won’t seek reelection]

George had accused his wife of having an affair with someone from their church, according to the report, prompting a fight and attempts by George’s family to keep him in their home.

Police arrived just as George was “attempting to leave” the residence with a “loaded and chambered” handgun in his car door, according to the incident report. Police said George was “breathing heavily” and “appeared upset” when they arrived.

George told the officers that he was attempting to leave to “make contact” with the man from their church, police said. His wife told officers that George did not verbally threaten anyone or use the handgun in a “threatening manner,” though police said that the couple’s statements were inarticulate and that they both “told us information that they later contradicted.”

“I do not believe either party to be completely truthful with us, and I suspect [George’s wife] to be afraid that [George] might hurt someone or take unsafe action,” one officer wrote. “However, I did not observe any injuries or get articulable information from either party to confirm this suspicion.”

George eventually agreed to leave the home and stay at a hotel, but “demanded” that he get his handgun back — a request that his wife “adamantly” opposed, according to officers.

His wife “was very reluctant to explain why but hinted that Abraham might use the weapon to go to Denton to hurt the person,” one officer wrote. “Specifically, she said, ‘I don’t know what he is going to do with it.’”

George’s campaign to lead the Texas GOP comes amid an ongoing civil war between the party’s right wing and more moderate, but still deeply conservative, faction. After years of simmering, that conflict exploded last year after the impeachment and eventual acquittal of Paxton, a key ally of the state’s far right and its two biggest funders, West Texas oil billionaires Tim Dunn and Farris Wilks.

Despite a scandal over their political network’s ties to white supremacists, Wilks and Dunn saw major electoral gains during this month’s GOP primaries. George was among a small group of candidates who lost in their primaries despite support from Dunn and Wilks — he received about $58,000 in support from the billionaires, but lost to Rep. Candy Noble, R-Lucas, by 5 percentage points.

[Texas GOP chair Matt Rinaldi backed a group with white supremacist ties — while working for its billionaire funder]

Rinaldi is also a close ally of the billionaires, and his decision not to seek reelection has set up the latest in a long-running series of proxy battles within the party. George, who led the Collin County GOP until last year, currently faces two other candidates for the chairmanship: Texas GOP Vice Chair Dana Myers, and San Antonio businessman Weston Martinez.

Myers announced her candidacy in January, criticizing the party’s “disarray” and “internal divisions.” She was among a group of Texas GOP executive committee members who called for the party to cut ties with groups funded by Dunn and Wilks after the then-leader of their most important political action committee, Defend Texas Liberty, was caught hosting white supremacist and Adolf Hitler admirer Nick Fuentes in October.

Rinaldi was also seen outside the one-story office building while Fuentes was inside, though he denied knowing Fuentes was there and condemned him. Rinaldi then spent the next three months attacking critics of Defend Texas Liberty — while quietly working as an attorney for Wilks.

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