The Republican Party of Texas has elected Tom Mechler as their new Chairman, in a meeting of the State Republican Executive Committee (SREC) in downtown Austin on Saturday afternoon.
Mechler previously served as the Treasurer for the state party. He succeeds Steve Munisteri, who resigned to serve as an adviser for Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) as he prepares a potential presidential run for 2016.
The other candidates were Dallas County GOP Chairman Wade Emmert, Texas’ Republican National Committeeman Robin Armstrong, and former Harris County GOP Chairman Jared Woodfill.
A majority of the SREC members, 32 votes, was required to win. On the first ballot, Emmert won 14, Woodfill 14, Mechler 31, and Armstrong 4. On the second ballot, Mechler won 36, enough to score the victory. The remainder of votes on the second ballot were 14 for Emmert, 13 for Woodfill, and 0 for Armstrong.
As Breitbart Texas reported, Emmert was the favorite among Young Republicans, and Mechler came in second in an online poll of Texas Young Republican Federation members.
In his initial remarks as Chairman, Mechler praised his fellow candidates for their work for the party, and had high praise for his predecessor specifically noting Munisteri’s efforts to advance the party’s youth and minority outreach efforts.
“We’ve said it and we’ve said it and we’ve said it for decades” that outreach is important, said Mechler, and Munisteri finally did something besides just talking about it. “I just want to applaud you again,” Mechler said, as the rest of the room joined in his salute to their former Chairman. “Without any question, you’ll be remembered as a man of great vision.”
Texas Young Republican Federation Chairman Richard Morgan told Breitbart Texas that he was glad to see that the new head of the state party was putting such emphasis on youth outreach. “I’m excited to work with our new Chairman, Tom Mechler,” said Morgan. “As part of Steve Munisteri’s inner circle, I’m confident Tom will be a very capable State Chairman. I’m also very pleased to see that the SREC chose a new state chair who has strong support among our TYRF members.”
As Breitbart Texas reported, Munisteri has earned accolades from Republicans across the state for his work recruiting chairs for all 254 county party organizations, eliminating the RPT’s debt, and continuing the Republicans’ streak of electoral wins.
Before his term officially ended at 1:00 pm Central Time Saturday, Munisteri urged whoever the next Chairman would be to remember to work for unity within the party. “It does not take any strength to divide the party,” said Munisteri, “it doesn’t take any courage at all.” Instead, he continued, the “real skill is in bringing people together.”
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