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DALLAS (AP) – Texas secessionists on the surprise brink of forcing the state Republican Party to vote on their cause are getting nudged back to the fringe — but just barely.

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A committee of Texas GOP leaders late Thursday narrowly threw out drafted language in the party platform that supported a referendum on Texas leaving the United States. The plank fell two votes shy of going to the convention floor of nearly 4,000 delegates.

The language wasn’t expected to survive a floor vote, but secessionist supporters say their efforts had never made it this far.

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The push had no support from top Republicans, including Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who said “too many people died for this country” to support secession.

Secessionist supporters said they would still try to force a floor vote Friday.

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