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Texas GOP official condemned for Facebook post steps aside

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HOUSTON – A Republican activist in Texas under fire for posting a Martin Luther King Jr. quote next to a banana following George Floyd's death says he won't take over as the county leader of the GOP in Houston.

Keith Nielsen was elected in March to take over as chairman of the Harris County Republican Party, which is the Texas GOP's largest county organization. But he faced intense pressure within the party, including from Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, to resign over his social media post that evoked racist tropes about black people.

Nielsen was among several GOP county leaders found to have put up racist posts or promoted conspiracy theories in the wake of Floyd's death, which has inspired international protests. On Sunday, Floyd's body returned to Houston, where he will be laid to rest Tuesday.

Nielsen initially said he would still take office in August and that his post was mischaracterized. But he announced Saturday he would step aside.