Republican Party of Minnesota Chairman Keith Downey announced that he will not be seeking a third two-year term in the position, reports the Pioneer Press.
Downey has led the party since 2013, winning the position after losing a race for Minnesota Senate District 49. He had previously served two terms in the Minnesota House as the Representative of District 41A.
At the time he took over the party it was deeply in debt and had been handed a resounding defeat in the 2012 election. His tenure saw Republicans take control of both houses of the state Legislature. However, the party continued its trend of failures in state-wide elections, as it has not won any such race since 2006 when Governor Tim Pawlenty won reelection.
“I am confirmed in my initial thinking and will not be running for chair again,” Downey said in an email to Republican Party leaders on Thursday, “We have made a lot of progress, emphasis on WE, and I am proud to be doing it with you!”
Downey may remain in the political arena after leaving his party leadership position. He has been mentioned as a potential candidate for governor in the 2018 elections among several other prominent Republicans. He did not address this in his announcement on Thursday.
Downey will step aside in April when his current two-year term expires.