State GOP Chair Paul Farrow won’t seek a full two-year term at the party’s Executive Committee meeting next month, telling he is focusing on his spring reelection bid as Waukesha County exec.

Farrow said he informed the Executive Committee in August that he didn’t plan to seek a two-year term. Several people had asked him since to reconsider. But Farrow said he couldn’t commit the time needed to the chair’s role while running for reelection.

Farrow, a former state lawmaker, won the county exec’s office in 2015 and was unopposed in his 2019 reelection bid.

“A lot of my energy and focus the next four months will focus on that, and it will hinder our preparation for the spring election cycle,” Farrow said.

The party constitution requires the selection of officers within 45 days of the November elections in even-numbered years, and the Executive Committee is scheduled to meet Dec. 10.

The party will now select its fourth chair in less than three years after Brad Courtney had served in the role for eight years.

Courtney, who served while Scott Walker was guv, initially stayed on as chair while the party did a postmortem on its losses in 2018 elections. But he stepped down in March 2019, and Andrew Hitt took over. Hitt was elected to a full term in 2020, but stepped down from the volunteer position in July 2021 to spend more time with his young family.

Farrow took over as chair in August 2021, filling out the remainder of Hitt’s two-year term.

Those mentioned as possible candidates to succeed Farrow include: Jesse Garza, the third vice-chairman; Brian Schimming, an at-large member of the Executive Committee; and Ben Voelkel, an aide to U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, who dropped out of the race for lieutenant governor this summer.

The state GOP chair’s position is a volunteer position, while the Democratic Party of Wisconsin pays its chair a salary. Farrow said there’s a subcommittee that’s looking at the party’s structure, including whether to start paying the party chair.

Farrow said the demands of the position have grown in recent years as the intensity of election cycles has picked up.

“We’re dealing with elections every year instead of just every two years that we ramp up the effort,” he said.

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