Ken McKay splits for DC after short tenure as RI GOP chair
Ken McKay, the former high-level Don Carcieri aide who won election last March as chairman of the Rhode Island Republican Party, is heading back to Washington, DC, to serve as a senior advisor to GOP Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin.
Johnson’s office released this message following a request for comment from McKay:
As stated in my letter to the Rhode Island GOP Executive Committee, ‘it is an honor to serve and fight with all of you, but the battle of our time is happening in Washington right now and I have to go try and be a part of that.’ I have accepted a position with Sen. Ron Johnson where I am serving as a Senior Advisor.
Johnson edged Democrat Russ Feingold in 2010, and was elected with Tea Party support.
McKay ran former governor Carcieri’s two winning gubernatorial campaigns and served as his first chief of staff before later taking a job with the Republican National Committee.
McKay talked a good game about plans to build GOP ranks in the General Assembly and elsewhere, after those efforts have yielded mostly meager results in recent years. The party is presently locked out of the state’s general office and the congressional delegation.
McKay resigned his voluntary state GOP post last week, sending this letter to Republican central committee members:
Rhode Island Republicans, like Republicans nationwide, are upset with the way President Obama and his Democrat allies are ruining our economy. Truly, Rhode Island Republicans have a unique view on this because we live every day with the disastrous economic results from long term Democrat rule.
Rhode Island is Obama’s national economic model.
I do not want to leave the RIGOP as Chair. It is an honor to serve and fight with all of you, but the battle of our time is happening in Washington right now and I have to go try and be a part of that. After serious, thoughtful deliberation and discussion with my family, this is a difficult decision, yet one I have to make. Accordingly, I am resigning from the position of Chair of our state Party.
I am truly sorry to those who may be disappointed with me. Again, this is not something I do lightly. Nevertheless, it is something I must do. I would like to thank you for your support and patience with me. Importantly, I want to mention one person in particular, our Executive Director, Pat Sweeney. Pat’s dedication, energy, and efforts are invaluable. His work with the Young Republicans energizes the Party and helped significantly with wins in recent special elections and fundraising. It is really upsetting to me that I may be letting him down. He believes we can make significant gains and that we are poised for growth and I agree with him. He is a true believer in our cause and I thank him personally for his support.
I’m going to do my part, do everything I can to stop and reverse the disastrous left-wing policies that the Obama Administration has imposed upon our country. Please also know that I will continue to volunteer my efforts, providing strategic and fundraising assistance to further the Republican Party here in Rhode Island. While I will no longer be your Chairman, I will
continue to labor alongside each of you, as we do all we can to get Rhode Island in position to prosper.
Steven Frias, acting state GOP chairman, sent the following message to the central committee, according to the Ocean State Republican:
… Based on my initial conversations with the Executive Director of the RIGOP, Patrick Sweeney, it appears that Mr. McKay has left the RIGOP in a stable financial condition with no major issues needing to be addressed in the next month.
Under the RIGOP by-laws, I, as the First Vice Chairman, am now the Acting Chairman of the RIGOP. Pursuant to Rule 2.3 of the RIGOP by-laws, we must hold a special election for Chairman within thirty days of Mr. McKay’s resignation.
As a result, a special election meeting for the RIGOP will be held during the week of December 19th. A meeting of the Executive Committee of the RIGOP will be held… to finalize the details for the special election meeting…
I just wanted to let you know that I anticipate there will be a smooth transition in the RIGOP.