(JOSHUA ROBERTS/REUTERS)

The Republican Governors Association announced Wednesday that Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell will continue to serve as chairman through next year.

 McDonnell was re-elected while presiding over his first conference as chairman in Orlando this week.

 “Thanks to the support of all 29 Republican governors, the RGA laid a strong foundation to expand our majority in 2012,” McDonnell said in a statement. “In 2011, the RGA won historic victories in Louisiana and Mississippi, and we are raising record sums. Next year, Democrats must defend eight of 11 states scheduled to hold governors’ races, and the RGA is in position to make a major impact in battleground states as well as in states that will be holding both a governor’s and U.S. Senate race.”

McDonnell had served as RGA vice chairman since August. His campaign manager and top political adviser, Phil Cox, works as executive director of the RGA.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will remain vice chairman. Other members of the RGA Executive Committee include: Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels was tapped as policy chairman to lead the Republican governors public policy committee.