The race for who will replace outgoing Republican Party of Texas Chairman Matt Rinaldi continues to grow ahead of the party’s convention next month.

On Friday, former executive director of the Texas Freedom Caucus Mike Garcia announced his candidacy for the position. 

Garcia’s position within the Texas Freedom Caucus (which is explicitly not recognized by the more well-known national organization) came as the caucus was increasingly criticized for cozying up to liberal House leadership. On the same day as Garcia’s announcement, Andy Roth—the director of the State Freedom Caucus Network—said of the Texas Freedom Caucus, “They don’t represent the brand and we have no intention of working with it.”

In his own announcement, Garcia said he would like to bring a supermajority of Republican lawmakers to the capitol again.

“We’ll do this by focusing on recruiting strong conservative candidates, raising funds for their campaigns and the party, and winning in November. And at the Texas GOP, we’ll continue working with the grassroots to  change hearts and minds in Austin and ensuring that the GOP platform and legislative priorities are passed into law,” said Garcia.

Garcia enters the race with State Rep. Matt Schaefer (R–Tyler), the current chair of the Texas Freedom Caucus, as his campaign treasurer. 

He joins four other candidates in the race—current vice chair Dana Myers, businessman Ben Armenta, activist Weston Martinez, and former Collin County GOP Chairman Abraham George.

Rinaldi, who announced he would not be seeking re-election last month, has endorsed George to replace him.

The vote will happen during the Texas GOP Convention, which takes place May 23-25 in San Antonio.

Brandon Waltens

Brandon serves as the Senior Editor for Texas Scorecard. After managing successful campaigns for top conservative legislators and serving as a Chief of Staff in the Texas Capitol, Brandon moved outside the dome in order to shine a spotlight on conservative victories and establishment corruption in Austin. @bwaltens