The chairwoman of the South Carolina Republican Party announced Wednesday that she will not seek re-election next year. Karen Floyd took over the state GOP in 2009 and oversaw the party’s turnaround in this year’s election. She said she was finished after only one term.
Floyd made the announcement during a press conference at the Statehouse in Columbia.
There’s a time to hold’em and a time to fold’em and… it’s my time to pass the baton. My point in being here today is really to say it was an absolute, total privilege to serve as the sixteenth chairman of the South Carolina Republican Party.
During her term, Republicans won all of the state’s elected offices and built their largest majority ever in the State House. However, she has also been criticized by Tea Party groups for the GOP’s spending. There have even been disagreements and public clashes within the party’s leadership. Floyd says she hopes the state’s Republicans will unify to fix a tough budget next year.
We ultimately understand that we have to serve the state of South Carolina… When (Governor-elect Nikki Haley) talks, there is a part of what she says that resonates so much with me. It’s about subordinating our personal interests to the bigger picture of the state.
Haley also spoke at the announcement, saying Floyd stood firm when her critics attacked.
What you hear, sitting in an office, are the people that are shooting at you. You hear the things that you do wrong. You hear the things that people think that they could do better… What I want you to remember today is we have nine Republican constitutional officers because of Karen Floyd.
Current state attorney general Henry McMaster, himself GOP chairman from 1993 to 2001, praised Floyd.
It is a tough arena on all sides… It is the most competitive arena that I know of. We’re fortunate in this state to have people, citizens, who are willing to get into that arena because they are proud of their state and they want to make it even better.
Floyd will still run the party for another six months, as her term does not end until May.