Alex X. Mooney announces resignation as Maryland GOP chairman


Sen. Alex Mooney, April 12, 2005. (James M. Thresher/The Washington Post)
February 9, 2013

Maryland Republican Chairman Alex X. Mooney on Saturday announced that he will resign his post, saying, “It is time for me to pursue other ventures.”

Mooney, a former state senator from Frederick County, took over a demoralized state party, struggling to pay off debts, in December 2010, shortly after Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) defeated former governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) for a second time.

In a letter Saturday to members of the party’s central committee, Mooney said that the party is now in a “strong financial position,” with an experienced staff, and that “grassroots activism is at an all-time high.”

He cited the successful petition drives to force three O’Malley-backed initiatives to the ballot in November: on same-sex marriage, immigrant tuition and congressional redistricting.

The voters sided with O’Malley on all three ballot measures, but “we must not overlook the fact we conservatives working together have the power to put the final vote to the people,” Mooney said in his letter.

Last year, Mooney considered running for the 6th congressional district seat held at the time by then-Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R-Md.) — but ultimately backed off.

During the meeting with GOP leaders on Saturday, Mooney said he would not rule out seeking the seat at some point in the future, according to a participant. The seat was won in November by Rep. John Delaney (D-Md.), who was aided by a more favorable congressional map drawn by Democrats in the General Assembly.

Republicans, who are outnumbered 2-to-1 among Maryland voters, are also expected to face some tough fights in the legislature in 2014 because of new districts redrawn by the Democratic-led legislature last year.

Mooney said he will submit his official letter of resignation by March 1, allowing for the election of a new state party chairman on April 20.

The complete text of Mooney’s letter to central committee members is below:

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Dear Republican Central Committee Member:

It has been an honor and privilege to serve as your Chairman of The Maryland Republican Party (MDGOP) these past two years and two months. After twelve years in the state senate immediately followed by two years as MDGOP Chairman, it is time for me to pursue other ventures.

Therefore, I plan to send in my official letter of resignation as Chairman by March 1st, and I wanted to make my intentions known now so that appropriate plans can be made.

According to our bylaws, this will allow for the election of a new Chairman on April 20th.

I am proud of the many significant achievements we were able to achieve together during my time as Chairman.

First, the MDGOP is in a strong financial position. According to Treasurer Chris Rosenthal’s report distributed today at the executive committee meeting, the MDGOP raised $1.1 million in 2012, far exceeding our budgeted plan.

Second, we have experienced staff focused on grassroots, party building and supporting candidates. Your executive board team remains in place. According to the bylaws, once I submit my official letter by the end of the month, First Vice Chairman Diana Waterman will assume the duties of Chairman until a new one is elected by you on April 20th. Therefore, the party will be in good hands.

Finally, grassroots activism is at an all-time high. Over 300,000 people signed a petition to stop three of liberal Martin O’Malley’s agenda items. While the vote was not successful on Election Day, we must not overlook the fact we conservatives working together have the power to put the final vote to the people. MDGOP was a partner in this effort with MdPetitions.com, the church community and other activists.

Our new office offers a convenient downtown Annapolis location walking distance from the Capitol for legislators and Republican clubs to use. And we cut rent expenses in more than half compared to our previous location.

With the elections for Governor and all House of Delegates and Senate races in 2014 coming up fast, we have much work ahead to defend our values. I encourage you to stay involved.

Thanks again for your hard work. It has been an humbling honor to serve as your Chairman.

Sincerely,

Alex X. Mooney

John Wagner has covered Maryland government and politics for The Post since 2004.
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