A Tarrant County Republican will keep his leadership position within the party, despite a push to remove him because he's a Muslim.
A faction of precinct chairs claimed Shahid Shafi was unfit to serve as vice-chairman, because his faith prevented him from representing all Republicans in the county. Critics also claimed his Islamic ideology runs counter to the US Constitution - an allegation top state GOP officials call bigoted. Shafi vehemently denies it.
Shafi is a trauma surgeon and a Southlake City Council member. He was appointed to the vice chairman's position in July. He is also a naturalized US citizen, arriving in the country in 1990 and receiving his citizenship in 2009.
The motion to remove Shafi failed by nearly a three-to-one margin, 139-49.
Tarrant County GOP Chair Darl Easton - who is a Shafi supporter - released a statement after the vote: which said the vote reaffirmed Tarrant Republicans' commitment to the state party platform and the U.S. Constitution.
"While tonight's vote brings an end to this unfortunate episode, it also demonstrates we are a Party that respects the right of those who disagree on an issue to have a seat at the table and their voices heard... Religious liberty won tonight, and while that makes a great day for the Republican Party of Tarrant County, that victory also serves notice that we have much work to do unifying our party."