Virginia Gov. elect John N. Dalton said in an interview today that he has asked state Republican chairman George N. McMath to remain in his party leadership post.

Dalton said McMath has agreed to continue as chairman despite previously announced resignation plans.

"George McMath has developed for our party the best computerized voter identification system in the country," Dalton said. "He was recently named chairman of the Southern Republican Chairmen's Association, a position that automatically makes him a member of the executive committee of the National Republican Committee.

"He had planned to resign next year, but I want him to stay and he has agreed to do so."

McMath is a weekly newspaper publisher and retiring state delegate from Accomac on Virginia's Eastern Shore. He was named sate chairman in 1974 as the choice of Gov. Mills E. Godwin and Dalton, now the state's lieuterant governor.

McMath has presided over the rapid growth of the GOP state staff into the first full-time, fund raising, voter identification and candidate recrutment organization ever operated by a major party in Virginia. The state party has been raising about $400,000 a year for its operations during the past few years.

Democratic state chairman Joseph T. Fitzpatrick and Democratic gubernatorial nominee Henry E. Howell, who was easily defeated by Dalton on Nov. 8, have laid much of the blame for recent Democratic losses in Virginia on the superiority of the Republican Party organization.