Ken McKay, former chief of staff for the Republican National Committee, sent a letter to GOP delegates Monday saying he's running for chairman of the Rhode Island Republican Party.
The move was widely expected - the Providence Journal has reported on his interest in the post for months. Current chairman Giovanni Cicione tells the AP he is stepping down with McKay and Pat Sweeney, who expressed interest in December, in the mix. That, too, was expected.
McKay, once a chief of staff for former Governor Donald Carcieri, would bring a seasoned hand to the party, which made modest gains last fall in the midst of a nationwide Republican wave.
Building the party in the run-up to a presidential election year, sure to bring out Democrats in support of President Obama, would be a challenge. The next chairman will also have to ride herd on a party that saw some Tea Party types ascend with the last election.