Maryland Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown (D) and his wife, Karmen Walker Brown, greet supporters after winning the Democratic nomination for Maryland governor. (Photo by Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post) (Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post)

The Maryland Democratic Party Chairwoman Yvette Lewis plans to resign next Thursday so she can spend more time with her family.

Lewis wrote in a letter posted on the party’s Web site that her father recently died and her mother is having health issues, so she needs to spend more time attending to her family. Lewis, who took the party position in 2011, is a former school teacher and professional opera singer who lives in Prince George’s County.

On deciding to resign, she said in a telephone interview Thursday night that “it was really tough because the Maryland Democratic Party has been one of the highlights of my life — that’s not hyperbole, it’s true.”

Lewis added that she’s looking forward to continuing to be deeply involved in electing Democrats.

“I’m not out of the game. I certainly will be here,” she said.

Bob Fenity, executive director for the party, said the state party’s executive committee will elect an interim chair at its meeting next Thursday. Sometime this spring, the statewide central committee will elect a new chair, he said.

The last election was an embarrassing one for the party. Even though there are twice as many registered Democrats as Republicans in the state, the party’s nominee — former lieutenant governor Anthony G. Brown — lost by several percentage points to Republican Larry Hogan, an Anne Arundel County businessman who has never held public office and used public financing to fund his underdog campaign.

Soon after the election, top elected Democrats gathered in Annapolis to assess what went wrong and what changes might be needed.

Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski, who called that meeting, told reporters that the party was “going through a period of self-examination.” At the time there seemed to be no plan to immediately replace Lewis, and Mikulski told reporters that “we are very proud of our party chair.”

As the news spread on Thursday, her Facebook page filled with comments from Democrats across the state and the country. “I’ve been in tears all day,” she said. “It had been an emotional day.

“The Maryland Democratic Party is strong and proud and blue,” Lewis said, “and it will continue to be, no matter who is in charge.”

John Wagner contributed to this report.