After the resignation of outgoing Texas GOP Chairman Allen West took effect on Sunday, party leaders officially elected Matt Rinaldi as their new leader. 

A former state representative, Rinaldi was among the most conservative lawmakers in the Texas House, where he served from 2015 to 2019.

Allen West, who was elected to serve as the chair of the Texas GOP last July, announced his resignation last month. He has since launched a campaign for governor against Gov. Greg Abbott.

Because West resigned during the middle of his two-year term, the vacancy was filled by members of the State Republican Executive Committee, which consists of one man and woman from each of the state’s 31 Senate districts, as well as a vote from the chair and vice chair. 

Rinaldi was joined in the race by Orange County Republican Party Chairman David Covey, lobbyist Chad Wilbanks, and former congressional candidate Bill Burch.

The vote was decided after one round of voting with 34 members supporting Rinaldi, 21 supporting Covey, six supporting Wilbanks, and three members supporting Burch.

Though a motion was made to make the vote a record vote, the motion was struck down on a voice vote, thus making the vote a secret ballot.

Upon receiving the chairmanship, Rinaldi said he “did not take lightly” the confidence the body placed in him, and he expressed his desire to work together as he took his position.

Rinaldi’s term will continue through the next Republican Party of Texas Convention in the summer of 2022.