Tuesday, November 01, 2005

GOP State Chair Resigning

Hamzy, Who Has Led Party Since 2004, to Leave in December

William Hamzy will be leaving his position as chairman of the Connecticut Republican Party on December 2nd, citing the fact that he didn't have enough time to devote to the position.

Hamzy is currently a state legislator and a private attorney as well as state chairman.

"I believe that you can do this job on a part-time basis, but I don't think you can have two other jobs at the same time," Hamzy told The Associated Press.

"I think we've accomplished a lot at State Central, but in order to take it to the next level someone needs to be there and have this as at least one of their two focuses, and not three," he added. (Haigh)

State party chairmen used to be the most powerful people in Connecticut. Henry Roraback virtually controlled Connecticut through the chairmanship of the majority Republican Party from 1914-1930. Democratic chairman John Bailey was easily the most powerful man in the state from the 1954 victory of Abraham Ribicoff until his death in 1975. Now, with the decline of back-room convention politics and the rise of direct primaries, the job of the chairman is more about fundraising than about legislation, policy and electioneering. Party chairs have become less and less visible since Bailey's time.

However, a strong party leader who can focus on actually winning statewide elections might be a boon for the ailing state GOP. Rell needs to choose carefully.

Haigh, Susan. "GOP chairman to step down in December." Associated Press 1 November, 2005.

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