On Sunday, the State Republican Executive Committee elected Rinaldi to replace Allen West, who announced his resignation last month after a dramatic 10 months on the job and is now challenging Gov. Greg Abbott.
Rinaldi won the election on the first ballot, getting 34 votes from the 64-member SREC against three opponents. He needed 33 to win.
“We cannot lose Texas — and will not lose Texas — if we work together,” Rinaldi said in his victory speech.
Rinaldi was one of the most conservative members of the House during his time there. He lost reelection in 2018.
This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at www.texastribune.org. The Texas Tribune is a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans – and engages with them – about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.