Republican Party Chairman Chris Healy will tell the 72-member Republican State Committee Tuesday evening that he won’t be seeking re-election.
Healy, who has been the GOP’s leader since 2007, said he was grateful for the opportunity he was given to lead the party for four years, but decided it’s time to move on.
“I’m going to go out and make an honest living and stay active in politics,” Healy said during a visit to the Capitol Tuesday afternoon. He will be taking a job as director of business development for Summit Financial Group.
Healy, a former newspaper reporter at the Torrington Register Citizen, said he’s going to miss the jolt he gets from “all the action,” but more than four years going 24-7 is enough.
While Republicans did not win any Congressional or constitutional offices in 2010, Healy touted the progress they’ve made at the municipal and state level. In addition to getting 15 new Republicans elected to the state House and two to the state Senate, Healy said the party made gains in 2009 at the municipal level and toppled several powerful Democrats, who decided not to seek re-election last year. Healy said his party was also instrumental in making sure former U.S. Sen. Chris Dodd retire and made sure former Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz wasn’t able to run in 2010. He said he’s played a big role in making sure some prominent Democrats no longer hold elected office.
Healy also touted the advances the party has made with technology, it’s social media, email list, and new phone system.
Smelling blood in the water after the 2010 election season, Republicans began lining up to challenge Healy, who remained uncommitted about a re-election bid until Tuesday.
Justin Clark, Tom Foley’s campaign manager from West Hartford, former state Senator Bill Aniskovich of Branford, Greenwich Republican Town Committee Chairman Jim Campbell, Doug Hageman of Southington, and Norwalk Republican Town Committee Chairman Art Scialabba have all expressed interest in the position.
Despite his zeal and snappy press releases, many feel the losses in last year’s election means there’s a need for new party leadership which explains the large number of candidates.
Healy has called those notions “absurd.”
The election for the next Republican Party Chairman will be held June 28.