Washington State Republican Party Chairman Kirby Wilbur resigned Monday, announcing he is taking a job with a conservative group in Washington, D.C.
Wilbur, a former conservative talk radio host, was elected to lead the state GOP in 2011, and was re-elected earlier this year despite a mostly dismal 2012 for local Republicans.
In a news release, Wilbur said he’d been offered a five-year contract with Young America’s Foundation (YAF), which seeks to train the next generation of conservative youth. Wilbur has served for years on the YAF board of directors.
“It has been an honor to serve as chairman of the WSRP since January 2011. We have had many successes and I have had some failures. The Party has a good crop of up-and-coming leaders, and a strong staff, and it will continue to move forward no matter whose hand is on the helm,” Wilbur said in a news release.
Wilbur touted some victories, including the Republican pick up of a state House and state Senate seat last year, the latter resulting in the legislative coup that brought the Majority Coalition Caucus into power in Olympia this year. Left unmentioned were last year’s GOP setbacks, including Rob McKenna’s loss in the gubernatorial race, and Democratic victories in each of three open congressional seats.
WSRP Vice-Chair Luanne VanWerven will serve as interim chair of the party until a replacement can be elected. Party spokesman Keith Schipper said that may happen at the next GOP state committee meeting, scheduled for Spokane in late August.