MassGOP chairman to step down at year’s end

Massachusetts Republican State Committee Chairman Robert A. Maginn Jr. announced today that he won’t run for reelection, setting the stage for a January battle over the direction of the party.

“After much thought, prayer and conversations with those closest to me, as well as many of you, I have not heard the voice of the Lord calling me to seek re-election as Chairman of the Massachusetts Republican Party at this time,” Maginn wrote in a letter to state committee members.

A prodigious campaign contributor, Maginn is the chief executive of a computer software firm, and served as a finance chairman for former Governor Mitt Romney’s presidential bids. He presided over the election in which Romney lost his bid for president, US Senator Scott Brown lost the seat he’d won in 2010, and Republican membership in the Legislature slipped by four members. Republicans will now hold just four seats in the 40-member Senate and 29 of 160 in the state House.

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But Maginn said that he kept the promises he’d made and that he had “worked hardest in the grass roots to get our state reps and state senators the funding they needed to win reelection ... The results of November 6 in no way diminish the time, effort, emotion and commitment put forth on behalf of our candidates up and down the ballot by each of you.”

He also presided over a debate over the party’s direction in Massachusetts. An evangelical Christian, he spoke often of his faith and welcomed a discussion over whether the state party should model the conservative platform adopted by the national GOP. That platform rejected gay marriage and abortion without any exceptions.

“As a man of deep Christian beliefs, it has been personally satisfying to be able to have presided over the committee during a time when more social conservatives were elected to our ranks,” he also wrote. “I believe it has been very healthy to have vibrant debate over the direction of our Party and how we align our Republican values with the electorate.”