The chairman of the Ohio Republican Party, Bob Bennett, will step down on May 31.
In a letter to the GOP executive committee, Bennett wrote, "It has become clear to me that now is the best opportunity for an orderly transition to a new chairman."
Bennett had been reelected to the post in January, but had made it clear at that time he would be stepping down by May.
Bennett replaced former GOP chairman Kevin DeWine in April, 2012, after a bruising internal struggle between DeWine and Gov. John Kasich.
Current Republican Party Executive Director Matt Borges is actively seeking the position.
Sources told 10TV's Jim Heath that he has locked up the support of several key county chairmen including Rob Frost from Cuyahoga County, Alex Triantafilou from Hamilton County and Doug Preisse from Franklin County.
In anticipation of his election, Democrats have already criticized Borges for his 2004 guilty plea to a misdemeanor count of unauthorized use of a public office. He paid a fine for the offense and his record was later cleared.
Republicans will vote for a new chairman on April 26, although Bennett said he won't leave his post until May 31.
Bennett had previously served as Ohio GOP chairman from 1988 to 2009, making him one of the longest serving chairmen in the country.
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