Republican Party of Texas (RPT) Chairman Tom Mechler was reelected to his post and defeated challenger Jared Woodfill.
“It is an honor to have been elected to continue serving the Republican Party of Texas.” Chairman Mechler said in a statement obtained by Breitbart Texas. “Our party has been strongest when we are united and I look forward to working each and every day to keep the RPT the most dominant state party in the country.”
“Today the work begins to demolish the Democrats this November,” Mechler concluded.
Woodfill conceded the race on Friday at the GOP convention being held in Dallas, Texas. The Houston lawyer and former Harris County GOP chairman immediately asked delegates to put their support behind Chairman Mechler and end any fight for the chairman’s race. Woodfill said Lone Star State pachyderms needed to unify and move forward.
The challenger hung up his hat after he lost in most of the Senate District (SD) meetings when votes were taken.
Mechler has served as the party chairman since Chairman Steve Munisteri resigned last year to work on Rand Paul’s Republican presidential campaign. Mechler was elected to the position in March 2015 by a vote of the State Republican Executive Committee leadership (SREC). Woodfill had also run for the position, along with former Dallas County Chairman Wade Emmert and Republican National Committeeman Robin Armstrong.
“We fought the good fight and came up short,” Woodfill told Breitbart Texas. “I will continue to fight for the principles, values and beliefs that motivated me to run. This is just one battle in a larger cultural war. Over the past year, I have been blessed to meet grassroots activists across the state. They are the heart and soul of our Republican Party. They are the future of the Republican Party!”
Woodfill lost his last quest for the GOP county chairman position in 2014 after Paul Simpson successfully challenged him. Though an eloquent spokesperson for Republicans, his fiscal management and fundraising ability at the Harris County Republican Party was made an issue during the race for State chair. Woodfill served the Harris County GOP as chairman for twelve years.
The present RPT head, Tom Mechler, has been criticized by opponents for not being as receptive to the grassroots as he should and for being too tied to the establishment wing of the party.
Mechler was endorsed by former RPT Chairman Steve Munisteri who is still widely-respected and liked among the Party faithful in Texas. Woodfill argued that he is more conservative than Mechler.
Woodfill helped a coalition defeat the openly gay former mayor of Houston during a fight over a “bathroom ordinance.” Breitbart Texas reported extensively about the ordinance, dubbed the “HERO,” or Houston Equal Rights Ordinance. The ordinance would have given transgenders the right to use women’s restrooms and shower facilities, and would have given them other legal protections. The ordinance was defeated by a margin of 69-31 at the ballot box.
Prior to serving as chairman of the state party, Mechler served as treasurer of the RPT. He served in that position for 4 1/2 years after being appointed to that position by then Chairman Munisteri. As set out on his website, he previously served as a county Republican Chairman for a combined period of twelve years at three different locations and served on the SREC representing Senate District 28 from 2002 – 2006. He also served as the Platform Committee Chairman at the 2012 and 2014 State Conventions.
The vice-chairwoman of the State Party, Amy Clark, was also reelected at the GOP Convention on Friday. Clark’s opponent was running on a ticket with Woodfill. Cathie Adams who has served as a president of Texas Eagle Forum in the past, lost to Clark.
After his win, Mechler tweeted, “Thank you Texas Republicans for letting me continue to serve you & help take the fight to the Democrats! #RPT16”
— Tom Mechler (@tommechler) May 13, 2016
Mechler’s campaign website contains his detailed plan for the RPT as chairman.