The county party's Central Committee chose Hagman over former San Bernardino County Supervisor Neil Derry, the only other candidate, by a vote of 30-12 on Thursday night at the party's organizational meeting at Hilton Garden Inn in Rancho Cucamonga.
Hagman, serving his third term in the Assembly, announced his plans to seek the party chairmanship earlier this month. It appeared as if he would have to challenge Robert Rego for the post, but Rego announced Jan. 24 that he would not seek another term as the local GOP's leader in order to pursue a volunteer position with the state Republican organization.
During his pitch for the chairmanship and after winning the night's vote, Hagman said California Republicans' comeback after the party's poor showings in the 2012 election can be accomplished via aggressive efforts to organize party events, get donations, reach out to young voters via social media and recruit volunteers and candidates.
"It's not going to be policy issues as much as blocking and tackling," Hagman said.
The assemblyman was more or less the establishment choice at the meeting.
An alternate Central Committee member standing in for Rep. Gary Miller nominated Hagman, and San Bernardino County Supervisor Gary Ovitt offered his second.
Lane Schneider, founder of the Redlands Tea Party Patriots, nominated Derry for the leadership post.
Derry said before the vote that the San Bernardino County Republican Party has allowed itself to become divided and has not done enough to work with Republican women's groups or conservative Tea Party contingents from the Redlands and Yucaipa areas.
"What we need to do as a party is come together," Derry said.
Derry offered his support to Hagman after the vote was in.
Prior to selecting the county GOP's new chairman, former Inland Empire legislator Jim Brulte addressed the Republican audience. Brulte is campaigning for the chairmanship of the California Republican Party and is expected to be a favorite for the post.
Whoever leads the state GOP will do so after what can only be considered a ruinous year for the party. The Democratic Party won veto-proof supermajorities in both houses of the state Legislature in the November elections and the GOP's registration is shrinking.
Brulte said Republicans need to motivate donors and grassroots members and grow diversity in the GOP. He said California Republicans already have more black, Latino and Asian Americans than most people realize.
"It's axiomatic, in a neighborhood election, the candidate who looks like, sounds like, shares the same values, has the same experiences, tends to win," Brulte said.
Reach Andrew via email, call him at 909-386-3872, or find him on Twitter @InlandBizz.