With Vice-Chairwoman Cat Parks forgoing another term, the race for her successor was among the most interesting facets of the convention. Elected by the delegates to succeed Parks is Dr. Dana Myers, the vice-chair of the Harris County GOP.
Myers will now work with Rinaldi to take advantage of the expected electoral admonition of Democrats in this midterm election.
“We’re in nothing less than a fight to save the America we love, to save the America we grew up in, and the America we wish to preserve for our children,” Rinaldi told delegates on Thursday. Pointing to racial- and gender-focused orthodoxy on the political left, Rinaldi added, “The administration is aided by its allies in academia, the media, and corporate America who’ve spread propaganda, attacked individuals who question the government-approved narrative, and taken direct aim at our children.”
“This is happening in our state too. We cannot be content with merely winning elections and slowing America’s leftward trajectory. We need to take the fight directly to the left and go on offense.”
He then called on Republicans to pass legislation that “promotes strong families, free speech, border security, and a free economy.”
Rinaldi shouted out Lt. Governor Dan Patrick and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis for rebuking Disney after the corporation opposed Florida’s bill prohibiting discussions of sexual topics in classrooms for grades kindergarten through third.
He then applauded the legislature for passing the trigger ban that outlaws abortion if Roe v. Wade is overturned, and pressed the Texas House to avoid appointing Democrats “to chair powerful committees.” There are also Democrats as chairs in the Texas Senate.
“We cannot compromise with Democrats who have a different and incompatible view for our future,” he added.
About his re-election, Rinaldi told delegates, “The fact that I don’t have an opponent for reelection is evidence of our success.”
The vice-chairwoman race was the polar opposite of Rinaldi’s, with a tripart race between Adrienne Peña-Garza, Alma Perez Jackson, and Dana Myers.
Right off the bat, Jackson and Myers jumped out to a significant lead over Garza — but because Garza received at least three votes, the race went to the delegate floor. After the Senate District caucuses, Jackson led Myers by two votes but fell two shy of reaching a majority. The Nominations Committee then held another vote to narrow down a candidate to recommend to the floor. On the third ballot, all but one of Garza’s votes threw in for Myers, giving her the two-vote edge over Jackson.
Taken to the floor, each candidate made their final case. Jackson was backed on-stage by state Sen. Bob Hall (R-Edgewood), RNC Committeeman Robin Armstrong, and soon-to-be state representative Terri Leo Wilson. Meanwhile, Myers received a specific endorsement from Garza on-stage before the vote.
The final delegate vote tally came in at 4,965.44 for Myers and 3,726.60 for Jackson.
Myers’ big focus in her campaign is on urban centers, trying to make gains in what have typically been Democratic strongholds.
The party now turns its sights solely to the November midterms. They hold 85 seats in the state House, 19 in the state Senate, and 23 of the current 36 congressional seats with two more up for grabs after population growth from the U.S. Census. And at the top of the ticket is the heavyweight matchup between Governor Greg Abbott and Beto O’Rourke.
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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.