N.J.’s GOP state chairman announces his resignation

    New Jersey’s Republican Party state chairman is stepping down.

    Samuel Raia announced his resignation Tuesday, saying it would take effect immediately. He also endorsed Gov. Chris Christie’s choice of Bill Stepien to be the state party’s new leader.

    Stepien was Christie’s campaign manager in both of his races for governor and served as his deputy chief of staff from 2010-2012. Before that, he was national field director for Rudy Giuliani’s 2008 presidential campaign and then worked with John McCain’s campaign in the general election.

    Lynda Pagliughi, the state party’s vice chairwoman, will serve as interim chair until Raia’s successor is approved.

    Raia has held the chairman’s post for three years. He also serves as the mayor of Saddle River, a community in Bergen County.

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