Maine GOP chairman resigns after 6 monthsAP , Associated Press
Jul. 3, 2013 5:28 PM ET
AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Maine Republican Party Chairman Richard Cebra resigned Wednesday after six months on the job following a tumultuous legislative session marked by tensions between Republican Gov. Paul LePage and some GOP lawmakers.
Cebra, who served four terms in the Legislature, was elected to the position in December. He resigned for personal reasons, Republican Party Executive Director Jason Savage told the Portland Press Herald. He said the party would have no further comment.
Cebra could not be reached for comment, and Savage didn't immediately return a call from The Associated Press.
Cebra was elected in December to lead the party as it sought to move on from some setbacks, including from November's election losses and a divided party at the state convention, when supporters of Ron Paul took over the event from mainstream Republicans and elected a slate of Paul delegates to the national convention.
Besides his eight years in the Legislature, Cebra previously served as chairman of the Cumberland County GOP Committee and was considered an establishment candidate.
Cebra took over from Charlie Webster, who helped engineer sweeping Republican gains in the Legislature in 2010 but decided not to run again last year.
Webster said he had heard a couple of days ago that Cebra might resign, but he didn't know why and had no other information.
Among those eyeing the job is former state Treasurer Bruce Poliquin, who said he's considering the post after being approached by a number of people asking him to take the job. Poliquin is also considering running in the 2014 2nd District congressional race, now that Democratic U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud is likely going to challenge LePage in next year's gubernatorial election.
Poliquin said he had heard Cebra might resign, but didn't know why. The new chairman will be elected by the party's state committee, he said.
"It's a very difficult job and it's important to be able reach out to all factions of the Republican party to make sure our message gets out about limited government and more economic growth and more jobs for Maine families," he said. "It's critical to get that message out. I'm sure we'll find somebody who can do that."