WASHINGTON — Matt Pinnell, the outgoing chairman of the Oklahoma Republican Party, was named Wednesday to a new position with the national party organization.
Pinnell, of Tulsa, will be the state party director for the Republican National Committee. The position was created in the wake of the GOP's soul-searching report that examined the party's failure in 2012 to win the White House and key Senate seats.
Pinnell, who has been chairman of the Oklahoma GOP since 2010, will be the chief liaison between state party organizations and the national party, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said.
“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. “He will ensure we're giving state parties the support they need, so they can in turn support and empower the work of grassroots activists and volunteers.”
Pinnell said he would keep his residence in Tulsa, but that he would be traveling much of the time. He said he also would have an office in Washington.
“I am eager to take on this new opportunity at this critical time for the RNC and the party,” Pinnell said.
“The success of the state parties will be crucial to developing and implementing a solid ground game, and ensuring Republican victories in the coming elections.”
During Pinnell's tenure as chairman in Oklahoma, Republicans made major gains in registration, regained the Governor's Mansion, picked up seats in the state House and Senate and captured the one congressional seat that had been held by a Democrat.
Last year, Pinnell presided over a fractious state convention as supporters of Ron Paul's presidential candidacy fought with those supporting Mitt Romney. There also was some friction between the Paul supporters and other state party members at the national convention in Florida.
A graduate of Oral Roberts University, Pinnell has worked on state and federal campaigns in Oklahoma.