Shop Talk: RNC Names Director to Oversee State Party Rebuilding

Priebus is the RNC chairman. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Republican National Committee on Wednesday named outgoing Oklahoma GOP Chairman Matt Pinnell as its new chief liaison to state parties.

As RNC state party director, Pinnell will lead the committee's efforts to rejuvenate its state-based affiliations, many of which have proved ineffective since President George W. Bush left office. Pinnell will report to Chairman Reince Priebus and Political Director Chris McNulty, who are rebuilding the party based on recommendations from the RNC's self-imposed autopsy, the "Growth and Opportunity Project."

"At the RNC, we’re revamping our entire political field operation to be bottom-up and community based," Priebus said in a statement. "That means the 50 state parties and territories must take a leading role."

(See also in Roll Call: RNC Looks to Refurbish Ailing State Parties)

When state GOP infrastructure was already struggling last year, many supporters of former Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, took over local party leadership positions — changes that only led to more internal strife across the country. That includes Alaska, where the state party ousted yet another chairman on Tuesday.

Pinnell, 33, was elected chairman of the Oklahoma Republican Party in June 2010 and until recently was the youngest state GOP chairman in the country. Previously, Pinnell served as Oklahoma Victory director for Arizona Sen. John McCain's 2008 presidential campaign and spent three years in Washington, D.C., working for a couple of trade associations. He has also served as an aide on the campaigns of former Rep. Steve Largent and Sen. Tom Coburn.

"Matt knows the workings of the state party system and has the vision to help strengthen state parties as we build for 2014 and 2016," Priebus said.

(See also in Roll Call: Cracked Granite: Troubled N.H. GOP Looks to Rebound in 2014)