Texas political leaders, Austin officials react to violence at Charlottesville rally

5:15 p.m. update: Central Texas political leaders and officials have joined the voices in condemning the violence at a white nationalist rally Saturday in downtown Charlottesville, Va.

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who noted that his mother was from Charlottesville, tweeted that “we must stand against all who try to divide us with hatred and bigotry.”

Travis County GOP Chairman Matt Mackowiak said the violent actions go against the values for which the Republican Party stands.

“Hatred, bigotry, racism and violence are antithetical to the values of the Republican Party,” he said in a statement. “The Charlottesville rally should be condemned. I am horrified for the loss of life and pray for the recovery of those injured. This is a very sad day for America.”

U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul, a fellow Republican from Austin, also condemned the Virginia demonstration of hate on Twitter.

“We must condemn the hate fueling the violence in #Charlottesville. It does not define us as Americans. Those affected are in my prayers,” McCaul tweeted.

University of Texas President Greg Fenves also used Twitter to pledge UT’s support and solidarity with the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.

“UT stands with @UVA against racism and hate-filled violence in our communities. Our sympathies are with the victims of this tragedy,” he tweeted.

State Rep. Gina Hinojosa, D-Austin, retweeted a CNN News tweet about the rally held Friday night on the University of Virginia campus with a statement saying: “We are better than this. This is the product of the “politics of division” led by a president who daily pits Americans against one another.”

Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin, echoed the condemnation of hate. In the tweet sent around 11:30 a.m. Saturday, before President Donald Trump’s statement on the violence, Watson called for Trump to denounce the violence.

“Time to condemn the hate in #Charlottesville. This isn’t our values. @POTUS should join reps of both parties in denouncing this vileness,” Watson tweeted.

Earlier: Austin leaders have taken to social media in reaction to the violence that has erupted at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., where a vehicle plowed into a group of people marching through the city’s downtown.

Austin Mayor Steve Adler has pledged his support to Charlottesville Mayor Mike Singer through tweets about the violent rally.

Alder tweeted the hashtag #standwithcville Saturday afternoon in a retweet of a previous tweet of his from earlier Saturday morning saying: “We support the great leadership of #Charlottesville Mayor @MikeSigner and strong values of his community, this moment fighting hate.”

Interim Austin Police Chief Brian Manley also tweeted, denouncing the hate and violence happening at the rally. “There is no room in society for the hatred and violence that is on display in Charlottesville VA!” Manley tweeted.

Many of the members on Austin’s City Council also voiced their support for Charlottesville’s leaders.

District 4 Council Member Greg Casar sent a message of solidarity to the anti-white supremacist marchers and Charlottesville Vice Mayor Wes Bellamy, who fought to take down the statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from a downtown park.

“In Austin it’s time we rename Robert E Lee Rd & reshape budgets & policies to march toward racial justice #atxcouncil #Charlottesville,” Casar tweeted.

District 5 Council Member Ann Kitchen echoed Casar’s sentiments in support of Bellamy. “Standing with #Charlottesville Vice Mayor @DrWesBellamy for equity, inclusion & justice. We reject hate & bigotry in our communities,” she tweeted.

District 2 Council Member Delia Garza and District 6 City Council Member Jimmy Flannigan echoed the words in Kitchen’s tweet, stating their solidarity with Bellamy and “equity and justice” via Twitter.

Later in the day, District 8 Council Member Ellen Troxclair tweeted, “What a horrible day for America. We are so much better than this. Praying for those in #Charlottesville and for the end of racism and hate.”

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Local

Jacksonville officer in critical condition after shooting 
Jacksonville officer in critical condition after shooting 

One Florida officer is in critical condition and another is stable after being shot Friday, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office said. The officers were responding to an attempted suicide call, Sheriff’s Office Director Mike Bruno said. The suspect was shot by police and later died, deputies said. The injured officers were taken to UF Health...
Central Florida police officer shot and killed, another gravely wounded
Central Florida police officer shot and killed, another gravely wounded

One central Florida police officer was shot and killed Friday night and one is in grave condition, Kissimmee Police Chief Jeffrey O’Dell said. O’Dell said that Officer Matthew Baxter was killed and Sgt. Sam Howard was shot and is in grave condition. The uniformed officers were responding to a call at 9:30 p.m. in Kissimmee. It appears that...
Georgetown’s new bus service launches Monday
Georgetown’s new bus service launches Monday

Hop on board. Georgetown’s new bus service with four fixed routes across the city starts at 7 a.m. Monday. The 16-passenger buses, operated by the Capital Area Rural Transportation System, are free for the first two weeks. They will run from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays. There is no bus service...
After Charlottesville, Austin’s Confederate monuments get a second look
After Charlottesville, Austin’s Confederate monuments get a second look

After a rally by white supremacists fighting removal of a Confederate monument turned deadly in Charlottesville, Va., last weekend, the response in Austin came swiftly. Austin City Council members immediately began paperwork to rename Robert E. Lee Road, near Zilker Park, and Jeff Davis Avenue, near Allandale. At the Capitol, state Rep. Eric Johnson...
Where to watch the solar eclipse in Central Texas

Want to get in on the solar eclipse frenzy? If you haven’t made your Eclipse Day plans yet, there are tons of events in the Central Texas area for family-friendly, astronomical fun. Here is a collection of places to go and things to do on Monday, Aug. 21: AUSTIN Balcones Park Viewing Party, 1:10 p.m., 12017 Amherst Drive, Austin: Join neighbors...
More Stories