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‘Pro-Business’ Texas County Is Courting Elon Musk After He Said Tesla Was Leaving California
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 09: Elon Musk, founder and chief engineer of SpaceX speaks at the 2020 Satellite Conference and Exhibition March 9, 2020 in Washington, DC. Musk answered a range of questions relating to SpaceX projects during his appearance at the conference. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Win McNamee/Getty Images

A Texas county is openly courting Elon Musk after the Tesla CEO said he was moving company headquarters out of California over “unelected & ignorant” health officials.

Hidalgo County judge Richard Cortez wrote an open letter to Musk on Monday arguing that Hidalgo is the ideal regulatory environment for Musk’s electric car manufacturing company. On Saturday, Musk announced that he was suing California’s Alameda County over strict coronavirus regulations and that he is moving Tesla’s HQ out of state.

“I have recently read of your displeasure with authorities in California and your desire to relocate to Texas ‘immediately.’ I wanted to reach out to you to let you know that Hidalgo County, Texas is available to immediately accommodate you and Tesla Motors,” Cortez wrote, according to a copy of his letter posted to Twitter.

“We have a community of manufacturing facilities called maquiladoras that operate on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border, based in Hidalgo County, which caters to automobile manufacturing operations in Monterrey, Mexico – a short two hours away and contributes to Mexico now being the fourth largest automotive exporter in the world,” the letter continued.

Cortez also touted Texas Gov. Greg Abbott as “pro-business” and the county’s “hard-working and comparatively young” workforce. He also offered to help Musk pick out a location to begin building Tesla’s new headquarters and factories.

Musk gave no hint as to whether he would accept Cortez’s offer, responding simply that the “note is much appreciated.”

On Saturday, Tesla filed a lawsuit against Alameda County over its lockdown order that has kept the manufacturer’s Fremont factory shuttered since March 23. On Monday, Musk announced that he would violate the county’s emergency regulations and open the factory.

“Tesla is restarting production today against Alameda County rules. I will be on the line with everyone else. If anyone is arrested, I ask that it only be me,” Musk said.

Musk reached his breaking point with Alameda County officials after fighting with the county’s Interim Public Health Officer Dr. Erica Pan on opening the Fremont factory. Musk has threatened to close down the Fremont plant contingent on how Tesla is treated moving forward.

“Tesla is filing a lawsuit against Alameda County immediately. The unelected & ignorant ‘Interim Health Officer’ of Alameda is acting contrary to the Governor, the President, our Constitutional freedoms & just plain common sense!” Musk said on Saturday.

“Frankly, this is the final straw. Tesla will now move its HQ and future programs to Texas/Nevada immediately. If we even retain Fremont manufacturing activity at all, it will be dependent on how Tesla is treated in the future. Tesla is the last carmaker left in CA,” Musk added.

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