“Last week, back room deals were cut in an attempt to strip [the Texas GOP] of its power to elect its own chair, vice chair, and members of the SREC,” Rinaldi said on Twitter.
Rinaldi is referring to the “resign-to-run” bill that at the last minute was saddled with extraneous provisions requiring Texas GOP leadership to be elected on primary ballots rather than at the state convention. That language was ultimately abandoned.
He continued, “We need a Chair willing to stand strong for the party and ensure that grassroots don’t lose their voice in the political process.”
About the vacancy, Rinaldi stated, “The party also needs a leader with a history of raising money and organizing party activists at the local level, who is also committed to its mission and legislative priorities.”
“I look forward to earning the support of the SREC over the coming weeks.”
The post-session game of political musical chairs has already begun and the Texas GOP chairmanship surely won’t be the last.
Rinaldi served in the legislature for two sessions and lost re-election in 2018’s “Blue Wave” to Rep. Julie Johnson (D-Carrollton). During that time in office, Rinaldi was a founding member of the conservative Texas Freedom Caucus, formed to mount concerted opposition against then-Speaker Joe Straus.
In the 2015 session, Rinaldi was ranked the most conservative member of the House by Rice University’s Mark P. Jones and in 2017 he was ranked the third-most conservative member.
Another potential candidate for the position is current Texas GOP Vice-Chair Cat Parks, though a spokesman said nothing has been decided.
West’s replacement will be chosen by the State Republican Executive Committee next month to finish out the term.
This article will be updated as the story develops.
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Brad Johnson is a senior reporter for The Texan and an Ohio native who graduated from the University of Cincinnati in 2017. He is an avid sports fan who most enjoys watching his favorite teams continue their title drought throughout his cognizant lifetime. In his free time, you may find Brad quoting Monty Python productions and trying to calculate the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow.