Del Beccaro steps down locally to lead state GOP fundraising

Contra Costa County GOP Chairman Tom Del Beccaro said a few minutes ago that he will step down from his county post in April in order to lead the California GOP’s Golden State Leadership Fundraising Team.

Del Beccaro, also the vice chairman of the state GOP, has organized one large fund-raiser for the party already at its Feb. 22 convention in San Francisco and says he has a half-dozen more planned in the coming months. The party has had quite a bit of financial trouble in the past year, prompting one of its major donors to demand that its leaders develop a recovery plan.

“It’s a great opportunity but it’s going to take a great deal of time, so I have decided to step down from my job as the county chairman,” Del Beccaro said.

The Golden State Leadership Fund existed prior to Del Beccaro’s assignment but it had lapsed in recent years. It is intended to serve as a consistent source of cash for the party’s ongoing operations and programs, including subsidies to help county parties hire local staff.

It’s unclear who will assume the county chairman’s duties for the balance of the year although its widely believed that the committee members will in April elect Greg Poulos, who serves on the party’s executive committee.

At the state level, the party must get its financial act together soon if it hopes to help presumed GOP presidential nominee John McCain. His campaign says he wants to win in the Golden State, a tall order in a state where Democrats significantly outnumber Republicans.

In quotes that Del Beccaro sent over from party leaders, Republican Assembly Leader Mike Villines said, “Tom has shown great leadership and political instincts in developing a sustainable funding source for the CRP. I appreciate his vision and tireless work ethic for the Party.”

“Tom is proving to be exactly what state party members expected when we elected him: an active Vice Chairman helping to move the party forward in a critical presidential election year,” said California Republican Party Chairman Ron Nehring.

Del Beccaro says his decision has nothing to do with recent criticism of him aired on local blog, HalfwaytoConcord.com. Nor does the fact that a number of his critics have filed to run for the Republican Central Committee.

“I only do things for positive reasons,” Del Beccaro said. “The health of the CRP is dependent on our fundraising. I just got off the phone with the Los Angeles County chair who told me this is the most critical thing we can be doing.”

Lisa Vorderbrueggen