JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Gov. Phil Bryant's former chief of staff is the new chairman of the Mississippi Republican Party.

Lucien Smith was chosen Thursday by members of the state party executive committee.

He succeeds Joe Nosef, another attorney who stepped down last week after six years as chairman.

Smith ran unsuccessfully for state treasurer in 2011. He was a staff attorney for then-Gov. Haley Barbour and became chief of staff when Bryant succeeded Barbour in 2012. He is now in private law practice.

Bryant supported Smith for the party chairmanship, and Smith was unopposed.