Texas Republican Party Vice Chairman Matt Rinaldi challenges party leadership
Texas Republican Party Vice Chair Dana Myers announced Friday that she will compete against Matt Rinaldi, the party’s chairman.
“Recently, our party has deviated from its core mission, which is to grow the Republican Party by reaching new voters and presenting a platform grounded in conservative principles,” Myers said in a statement. “Instead, we find ourselves in chaos, torn by internal divisions and marred by unrest. This situation is untenable, and it is time for positive change.”
The president will be elected by delegates at the Texas Republican Party convention this spring. Rinaldi, who has not yet formally announced his re-election campaign, quickly responded to the news of Myers’ campaign.
“Under my leadership, the Texas Republican Party is having its strongest electoral performance since 2014 and has done more to challenge the Nikki Haley wing of the party than ever before,” Rinaldi said in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter. “There are some people who want the party to go back to being nothing more than an encouraging society for the elected class. “The grassroots will not allow this to happen.”
Myers is a medical business consultant in Houston who has long been involved in the Republican Party. She previously served as the party’s vice chair in Harris County, home to Houston and the most populous county in the state.
Last year, Myers joined more than a third of the party’s executive committee in a letter examining his ties to the Texas Liberty PAC, a far-right group of which he was then the leader. Jonathan Stickland, hosted notorious white supremacist Nick Fuentes in his office building near Fort Worth. The Texas Tribune spotted Rinaldi entering the building while Fuentes was inside, but he denied knowing Fuentes was there.
Rinaldi condemned Fuentes, but questions remained, and the letter called on the state party to do more to distance the party from the PAC. The Texas Liberty Defense Organization is one of the largest funders of the Texas Republican Party in recent years.
Jonathan Stickland has forfeited his right to any leadership role in conservative politics, thus[,] Complete separation from DTL, including its beneficiaries and RPT[,] “It is the only reconcilable outcome that is now officially called for with immediate effect,” the letter said.
When asked if he was running for re-election, Rinaldi told the Texas Tribune: “I’m currently focused on the Republican primary. But I will show up on the campaign trail and make a formal announcement after the primary.”
The Texas Tribune later reported that at the time Rinaldi was called upon to sever ties with Texas Liberty Defense, he was also serving as an attorney for Knight Wilkes, one of the PAC’s main funders.
Delegates to the Texas Republican Party convention will elect the state party’s chairman when they meet in late May in San Antonio.
While the president and vice president are elected at the same time, they do not run as a ticket and are not always political allies.
Rinaldi, a former state representative from North Texas, was first elected chair of the Texas Republican Party in 2021, when the state Republican Party Executive Committee selected him to fill a vacancy. Delegates to the 2022 convention re-elected him unopposed. Myers won a three-way race for vice president in the same convention.