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The chairman of the California Republican Party has decided not to seek another term at the helm of the state GOP.

Tom Del Beccaro announced in an email this week that he will not run in the party's spring elections, saying he has decided "it is time for me to pause from Party politics."

Del Beccaro, who was elected chairman in March of 2010 after years of GOP leadership positions on the state and county level, said in an interview that he will focus on finishing two books related to politics and other endeavors that will allow him to "influence ideas hopefully at a national level."

"After 10 years of volunteering, that's just where I want to be and that's where I get the most energy," Del Beccaro, 51, said. "Not long ago I spent like an entire day on the book projects and I was happy the whole day. It's just what I love to do."

Despite efforts to rehabilitate the image of the party and broaden its appeal to non-traditional GOP voters, the CRP has continued to struggle. Statewide registration numbers have continued to decline and financial troubles left the party near broke heading into the November election.

Some party insiders and GOP strategists have blamed Del Beccaro for some of the more recent issues, including fundraising difficulties, and questioned his decision to pour millions into an effort to get the new state Senate maps thrown out ahead of this year's election.

The internal turmoil led to the creation of several efforts outside the party to recruit and support GOP candidates and fueled a decision by the CRP Board of Directors to shift some powers from the chair to other members of the board.

Still, Del Beccaro, whose term will end in March, said he's proud of the work he did to increase outreach to minority communities, pointing to Latino town halls organized at party conventions and other events.

"The number one issue for me was always talking to more voters and beginning a sincere dialogue with the Latino community and other voters like that," he said. "That's what I said I wanted to do and that's what I spent a lot of time doing and I feel good about that."

Today is the deadline for the current chair to declare whether he will seek re-election at the party's spring convention. Vice Chairman Steve Baric is expected to run to succeed Del Beccaro as the CRP leader.

Editor's note: An earlier version of this post incorrectly said that today was the deadline for candidates to file for the chairman race. It is the deadline for the incumbent to decide whether to run for re-election.



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