SAN ANTONIO – Mayor Ron Nirenberg says Gov. Greg Abbott’s office has told his office there are no plans to send Texas National Guardsmen to San Antonio around the time of the Nov. 3 election.
The San Antonio Express-News reported Monday the guard planned to send up to 1,000 troops to five Texas cities in case of post-election disturbances. Nirenberg told reporters on Wednesday his office had not had any discussions -- formal or informal -- about that happening.
“When it was reported about all the metros receiving guard post-election, it took us all by surprise,” Nirenberg said.
In any case, it appears it isn’t happening -- at least in San Antonio.
“Well the Governor’s office was in contact with my office yesterday and said there is no instruction and no plans to bring guard to San Antonio during the election, post-election or otherwise,” the mayor said.
Where the National Guard will be used, if anywhere, isn’t clear.
Abbott was asked about the media reports during a press conference in Houston on Wednesday. Though he did not provide any details about possible guard deployments, he said the state wants to ensure it has adequate personnel in place for any post-election protests that turn into riots.
“(The National Guard has) a goal, and that is to support the efforts that they would be called upon to support the Texas Department of Public Safety,” Abbott said.
When pressed for specifics, Abbott said, “it’s erroneous to say that we’ll have a presence (in Houston). Those decisions will be made on an as-needed basis.”
The governor said the National Guard “will play no role whatsoever in the election process,” a sentiment echoed by the Adjutant General of the Texas Military Department, Maj. Gen. Tracy Norris.
“The Texas Military Department was activated to provide additional support to the Department of Public Safety in the summer of 2020,” Norris said in a statement emailed to KSAT. “Texas Service Members continue to support DPS in this capacity, guarding historical landmarks such as the Alamo and the State Capitol. To be clear, there has been no request nor any plan to provide any type of support at any polling location in Texas.”
Abbott had deployed the National Guard in May during protests following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.