- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Pat Mullins, chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia since 2009, told fellow Republicans on Wednesday that he’s stepping down from his position and a new election will be held for chairman early next year.

Mr. Mullins goes out on a high note after Tuesday’s midterm elections in the state that saw Republican Ed Gillespie give Democratic Sen. Mark R. Warner a much closer race than expected and the GOP preserve its 8-3 majority in the state’s U.S. House delegation.

In his letter to Republicans, Mr. Mullins wrote that serving in the post has been “one of the greatest honors and privileges” of his life.

“We’ve had our highs and lows — winning elections and losing elections — and regardless of the outcome, I’m more convinced than ever, and validated by the election results last night, that the people of Virginia and the citizens of the United States are desperately seeking consistent conservative governance,” he wrote.

“But the time comes when retirement is at hand,” he continued. “I’m 77 years old, and it’s time to turn the reigns over to someone else. I have served as Party Chairman in Fairfax County, in Louisa County, and now with the RPV for 13 of the past 24 years.”

Mr. Mullins also said he wants to spend more time with his children and grandchildren and spend more time traveling and said the resignation will take effect upon the election of a new chairman.

Mr. Mullins took control of a state party that was in flux after a tumultuous tenure from the previous chairman, former state Delegate Jeff Frederick, and a disastrous 2008 that saw President Obama become the first Democratic presidential candidate to carry the state in more than 40 years, Mr. Warner win election to a first term, and Democrats pick up three seats in the U.S. House.

But Republicans bounced back in 2009 with a sweep of the top three statewide elected offices and in 2010, when they knocked off three Democratic House members of their own and came close to unseating Democratic Rep. Gerry Connolly.

Results since then have been mixed. Mr. Obama won the state again in 2012 and Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine won a close election against Republican George Allen. In 2013, Democrats swept the top three statewide elected offices for the first time since 1993, but Republicans now have complete control of both the House of Delegates and the state Senate.

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