Stepien tapped to head NJGOP, Raia stepping down

Gov. Chris Christie’s former campaign manager is set to be tapped as the next New Jersey GOP state chairman.

Bill Stepien is being nominated for the position by the governor and the NJGOP’s current state chairman, Samuel Raia, who announced Tuesday he’s resigning following a three-year term.

“We’ve surpassed each of our goals during the three years of my chairmanship – we’ve re-elected our governor by historic margins, raised $8.8 million and laid the groundwork for the future success of our Party,” said Raia in a statement. “I couldn’t be more thankful for the opportunity provided by Governor Christie and members of the State Committee to serve our Party.”

The committee will vote on a new chairman in the coming weeks, according to a NJGOP spokesman.

Christie recently announced Stepien would join the Republican Governors Association as an advisor on political operations and independent expenditures. Stepien served as the governor’s deputy chief of staff and more recently as campaign manager of Christie’s re-election bid.

“I’ve asked Bill Stepien to be our new State Party Chairman because no one better understands how to grow our party, communicate our message and, most importantly, win elections,” Christie said in a statement. “Bill Stepien is the best Republican operative in the country, and New Jersey Republicans will be fortunate to have him leading our Party.”

Stepien also served as campaign manager for Christie’s first gubernatorial run. In 2008, he worked as a national field director for Sen. John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign.

Raia’s resignation is effective immediately, according to the NJGOP. Vice Chairwoman Lynda Pagliughi will assume the role of acting chair.

Stepien tapped to head NJGOP, Raia stepping down