Republican Party Chairman JR Romano, a staunch supporter of President Donald Trump, abruptly resigned Tuesday in a letter to state Central Committee members.
“After much personal reflection I am officially resigning my chairmanship. This decision is what’s best for the organization to move forward,” Romano said. “It is time for a new voice to be heard from the Connecticut Republicans. I am grateful for having had the opportunity to lead the Party. Thank you.”
Romano’s term was not up until ‘June and he had already announced a week before Election Day that he would not seek another term as chairman. However, at the time he said he would stay until his term ended.
Back in August, Romano resisted calls from within his party that he resign after 2nd Congressional District candidate Thomas Gilmer was arrested on felony domestic assault charges.
In a state where some Republican candidates have maintained some distance from Trump, Romano has been a strong supporter.
Romano, a political operative from Derby, was 36 years old when he took over the party chairmanship in 2015.
In an October interview, he highlighted his party’s gains in 2016, which saw Republicans tie Democrats for control of the state Senate. Although Democrats regained control of the chamber two years later, he said Republican influence helped hold the line on tax increases during that time. He said the party has also made headway internally under his leadership.
Sue Hatfield is the vice chairwoman of the Connecticut Republican Party. She said it’s likely that a special election will be held on February 23. The committee has 60 days to elect a successor.