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Texas GOP To Choose New Leader Amid Intense Infighting

Texas Republicans are set to meet in San Antonio to choose a new party chairman and discuss other major decisions amid internal infighting and dwindling funds.

The Texas State Republican Convention will be held May 23-25, just days before runoff elections in which many Texas House incumbents have been targeted by GOP hard-liners

“What you’re seeing in the runoff elections is exactly what you’re going to see at the convention,” Matthew Langston, a conservative political consultant told the Dallas Morning News. “There’s a definitive split within the party and a lot of friction about the direction and the path and the course of the party. This weekend there will be a live display of that split, followed up shortly by a display at the ballot box.”

At the convention, Republicans will choose a new leader, as Rep. Matt Rinaldi is not seeking re-election to the chairmanship, and will seek to adopt new rules and approve a party platform.

Republicans are considering changing the way their candidates are chosen. As the party moves further to the right, a proposal was approved by the Rules Committee that would reject ballot petitions from candidates censured by the GOP. Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan and U.S. Rep. Gonzales were both censured by the party, Phelan for voting to impeach Paxton and Gonzales for supporting a gun control bill after the Uvalde school shooting

Some are considering a proposal to block independents and Democrats from voting in the Republican primaries.

One of the key decisions would be the next state party chairman. Rinaldi has been criticized for using his position to target moderate Republicans and for a drop in party funding.

“His time as chair is going to be seen as the time when the Republican Party no longer came together,” Derek Ryan, a veteran consultant and adviser to GOP campaigns, told The Texas Tribune. “There is a certain portion of the party and electorate that is thrilled by that, and there are financial backers that are thrilled by that. And they may be effective right now at getting their agenda through. But is it coming at a cost in 2024, 2026 and beyond?”

Rinaldi endorsed Collin County Republican Party Chairman Abraham George, who is also backed by Attorney General Ken Paxton.

Many of George’s opponents have criticized Rinaldi’s tenure as chairman

Travis County GOP Chair Matt Mackowiak said the previous GOP leadership was “five years of neglect, dishonesty, self-dealing, and blatant anti-Semitism.” Texas GOP vice Chair Dana Myers who is also running for the chair said the party was in a “state of disarray, fractured by internal divisions and marred by turmoil.”

George has other three opponents, former Texas Freedom Caucus Executive Director Mike Garcia, grassroots activist Ben Armenta and San Antonio businessman Weston Martinez.

The next party convention will highlight the division among Republicans, and it will be a key step where they will decide if they will move further to the right and more extreme views.

RA Staff
RA Staff
Written by RA News staff.


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