Alabama Republican Party political director John Kay announced his resignation Friday, becoming the latest state Republican to depart from a high-profile position.
In a joint statement with Alabama Republican Party chairman Bill Armistead, Kay said he had been “blessed with an opportunity” to work on the GOP’s 2014 campaign to recapture the U.S. Senate. In the brief statement, Kay, who served for just over five months, said he was “thankful” for the chance to work with the Alabama Republican Party.
Initial attempts to reach Kay Friday were unsuccessful. In an interview Friday afternoon, Armistead said Kay had helped develop a state party strategy of targeting local races, such as county commission and sheriff campaigns, for 2014.
“I was not expecting it, but you’re never surprised when this happens in the political field,” Armistead said. “I think he’s a fine young man and I think he’ll do well.”
Armistead referred questions about Kay’s new job to Kay. The statement said Kay’s resignation would be effective next Friday.
The chairman said he was not concerned about losing the party’s political director as the 2014 elections approach, saying they had experienced staffers who could carry on the party’s efforts.
“I’m not discounting fact we’d like him to stay, but when you run a political operation, you have a lot of people running a lot of things,” he said.
The party is already seeking a replacement, Armistead said.
Kay’s resignation comes as several high-profile Alabama Republicans have left public office. Secretary of State Beth Chapman resigned this summer to take a political consulting job, while U.S. Rep. Jo Bonner, R-Mobile, stepped down from Congress to take a vice chancellor position with the University of Alabama.
In the state Legislature, Rep. Jay Love of Montgomery, the chairman of the House education budget committee, resigned to take a position with a newly-formed Business Education Alliance, which has ties to the Business Council of Alabama. Rep. Jim Barton of Mobile, the chairman of the House General Fund committee, resigned to take a lobbying job. Rep. Barry Mask of Wetumpka announced this week he would resign in the wake of becoming CEO of the Alabama Realtors’ Association.
Jason Isbell, chief counsel for House Speaker Mike Hubbard, R-Auburn, resigned to take a position with the Alabama Bankers Association.
A native of Louisiana, Kay had worked on several campaigns in that state and served on the Republican State Central Committee before accepting the position with the Alabama Republican Party.
– posted by Brian Lyman