Chris Koetzle announced Friday he will not seek another year as Schenectady County’s Republican Party chairman.
However, he said he will remain in the Republican Party as he turns his focus to his re-election campaign for Glenville’s supervisor’s seat.
“I have accomplished my goal of helping the partc transition during this time after losing our chairman to a judgeship and along the way I have continued to urge the party to find a longer-term Chairperson,” he said in an emailed statement to the committee members. “I am announcing my decision not to seek re-election now to give the party at least 60 days to find a suitable chairperson.”
Koetzle said he took on the job of chairman two years ago reluctantly because no one had stepped up to the plate.
During those two years, he said he’s been able to reaffirm the party’s relationship with the Conservative Party and endorse more diverse candidates, including the committee’s first endorsement of both a Black candidate and an openly gay candidate.
Koetzle has served as supervisor of Glenville since 2009. This year he is facing Democratic opponent Michael Aragosa, who is currently a Town Board member.
He also said he wanted to spend more time with his family.
Koetzle said he will begin turning over day-to-day duties to committee Vice Chairman Paul DeLorenzo, as well as preparing him to help the other Republican candidates running for office this November.
DeLorenzo could not be reached for comment.
The committee will meet in September to pick a new chairman. Rotterdam Chairman John Mertz said the party’s focus right now should be on the elections.
He said it’s up to the party members and who they think is best to take the position.
“If I was asked to take the position I would say yes,” he said.
Koetzle said the next chairman should focus on increasing party enrollment and continuing to find good candidates to run for office.
“Chris has done a great job,” said Peter Guidarelli, a political analyst for WGY, who has been a part of the Republican Party for 30 years and previously served on the Schenectady County Legislature and Schenectady City Council.
He said that DeLorenzo would be an excellent replacement as chairman.
“He’s got a great reputation as a uniter and someone who can work with people from diverse backgrounds,” Guidarelli said.
He also said DeLorenzo is a professional and works well with people who have differing opinions.