Haynes to exit as TNGOP chair

Ryan Haynes, who has been caught in the middle of party strife since becoming Tennessee Republican Party chairman last year, will not seek another term in the position, according to Victor Ashe.

Haynes, who resigned from a state House seat to take the position following former Chairman Chris Devaney’s resignation, has told several friends and Republican leaders of his plans but won’t make an announcement until after the pending election.

From Ashe’s column:

Haynes… has been unhappy with the position. He is a more policy-oriented person and does not like the internal GOP politics on the state executive committee. He was also blindsided by Gov. Bill Haslam’s rejection of Donald Trump, which fell on him to explain.

When Gov. Haslam repudiated Trump, the party headquarters was swamped with irate Republican calls and Haynes was attacked, too. He received only six hours’ notice on the Haslam move to prepare when it hit the media.

Haynes is mentioned as a possible candidate for Knox County mayor, but he has not made a decision.

His successor will be chosen by the 66-member state executive committee elected by GOP voters from each of the 33 state Senate districts. The committee is divided between more traditional Republicans and more conservative ones.

Normally, Gov. Haslam would be able to choose the next chair as a practical matter and the committee would approve it. That may not be the case this time around as many SEC members are furious at Haslam for opposing Trump. Picking someone other than the governor’s choice could be part of the fallout. The governor may not make a recommendation and leave it entirely to the state committee.

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