Wojtaszek blamed the fact that he waited for current chair Joe Mondello to formally step aside and Cox didn't. The full statement is below, echoing Maggie Haberman's scoop on this.
Wojtaszek's withdrawal comes after several counties who had been supporting him flipped to Cox. There is talk Wojtaszek might eventually take some position in the party; Cox put out a statement saying he is "looking forward to working with him."
Here's Wojtaszek's letter:
Today, I formally suspend my efforts to become the next New York State Republican Chairman.
I am encouraged that Ed Cox already has announced substantial financial commitments to help rebuild our party. I look forward to a party structure that will help us win races at the local level and give a greater voice to individual county chairmen.
We need new ideas, new approaches and a new message that connects with voters across the state. To accomplish this, we need to stand united to chart that new course.
I want to express my tremendous gratitude to those that have supported my candidacy. I will always appreciate your friendship, help and hard work.
As you know, politics is to a large extent about timing. My preparations to seek this post were well underway earlier in the year when I put aside my legal career. Out of respect for his years of service to our party, I waited for Chairman Mondello to reveal his plans for the coming election before formally announcing my candidacy. It's clear now that the way that timeline worked out was detrimental to my efforts.
For me, this process has always been first and foremost about what is at stake next November, when six statewide offices are on the ballot. Given the state of the current political landscape, our inability to capitalize at the ballot box would undoubtedly be devastating. Our work to reclaim the mantle of reform and lead New York into the next decade must begin now.
We now need to focus on November, 2010.
Together, we will take back this state for hard-working New Yorkers who feel put out by the finger-pointing and sheer incompetence that has become custom in Albany.
HENRY F. WOJTASZEK