HOUSTON, Texas — The race to replace Texas Republican Party Chairman Steve Munisteri kicked off this past weekend at the quarterly meeting of the State Republican Executive Committee (SREC) in Austin. Three candidates announced they will be running to fill the vacancy that will be left when Chairman Munisteri eventually steps down.
Munisteri confirmed to Quorum Report’s Scott Braddock on Monday night that three top leaders from across the State of Texas have officially thrown their hats in the ring for party chairman. During the SREC meeting Dallas County Chairman Wade Emmert and Republican Party of Texas Treasurer Tom Mechler were in attendance and announced their intention to run. Former Harris County Republican Party Chairman Jared Woodfill also sent a message to the group stating his intentions to run as well.
This could be a long campaign as Munisteri has yet to formally announce his resignation. He has, however, let it be known that he plans to step down sometime after this fall’s general election and the end of the 2015 Legislative Session in Austin.
In a statement obtained by Breitbart Texas, Emmert said, “It is my honor to serve as the Chairman in the second largest county in Texas.” He went on to explain that he will be working as Dallas County Chairman to make sure as many Republicans are elected as possible. Until then he left the SREC members with “I look forward to sharing with you soon my vision for the Republican Party of Texas.”
Mechler too will have his hands full with managing the state party’s finances in a very important statewide election. “Let the race begin,” he said during the SREC meeting. In an interview with Breitbart Texas Mechler said, “Steve Munisteri, the RPT’s exceptional leader, has indicated his desire to step down sometime over the next nine months. Many SREC members and other GOP leaders around the state have requested I run when that time comes since I have been an active member of Steve’s leadership team.”
“After much prayer and consultation with family and supporters,” Mechler stated, “I realized the importance of continuing to build on the foundation of what’s been accomplished these last 4-1/2 years and have agreed to humbly pursue the state chair position.”
“After much prayer and discussion with family and friends,” said Jared Woodfill in an interview with Breitbart Texas, “I have decided to run for Chairman of the Republican Party of Texas. During the past twelve years, I have had the privilege to serve as Chairman of the Harris County Republican Party. During my tenure, Harris County experienced four countywide Republican sweeps, a record straight ticket vote of approximately 405,000, and Republican growth in communities that have not traditionally voted Republican.”
“I have and will continue to be a vocal advocate for the conservative values that brought our party to the majority,” Woodfill continued. “Faith, family, and freedom continue to motivate me to stand against the left’s liberal agenda for our state and country. My conservative beliefs, experience as Chairman of the largest county Republican Party in the country, and unwavering commitment to our party platform, motivated me to run for this important position. As Texas goes, so too goes the country. I look forward to traveling across the state and sharing my vision for our Republican Party.”
Munisteri reminded Braddock that this is not an unusual move by the candidates in announcing their intentions early. When he was elected in 2010, then Party Chair Cathie Adams and Tom Mechler were already running against each other for about six months before he Munisteri announced. As for who might win to replace him, Munisteri said he had no idea.
Bob Price is a staff writer and a member of the original Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX.