Texas Gov. Greg Abbott will skip Friday’s National Rifle Association convention and instead make a return trip to Uvalde, the rural town devastated by an elementary school shooting this week, his office said Thursday evening.
Abbott, who is seeking re-election in November, will record video remarks that will be shown at the NRA event in Houston, a spokesman for the governor told NBC News. He had been scheduled to speak in person.
In Uvalde, Abbott is scheduled to hold a news conference after a meeting with state and local officials, as well as town residents.
The Dallas Morning News previously reported Abbott’s schedule change.
Republican politicians scheduled to speak in Houston have come under pressure to forgo the NRA event, which opens just three days after 19 students and two teachers were gunned down in Uvalde.
Sen. John Cornyn and Rep. Dan Crenshaw, two other high-profile Texas Republicans who had been scheduled to attend, have also backed out, citing scheduling conflicts they said were unrelated to Tuesday’s shooting at Robb Elementary School, about 270 miles from Houston.
Speakers who remain on the list for the event include former President Donald Trump, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem and Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas.
Trump said in a statement Wednesday that he would keep his “longtime commitment to speak in Texas at the NRA Convention and deliver an important address to America.”
Haley Talbot is an associate producer in the NBC News Washington bureau.
Zoë Richards is the evening politics reporter for NBC News.