The resignation comes moments before republican leaders were expected to vote the former Tea Party activist from office. NHPR's Josh Rogers reports.
A week after pledging to make the GOP’s executive committee to look him in the eye and vote on his removal, Jack Kimball’s said staying on would just perpetuate a divide in the party.
"There will be a rift, but I did not want to be seen as the person causing it, so that’s why I did this," said Kimball.
Kimball’s move was applauded by top GOP officials, all of whom had asked for Kimball’s resignation.
“I had not heard he was going to resign until I got here tonight and that what he started to do," said GOP national committeeman Steve Duprey. "I respect him for doing so. It’s a hard thing to do but I think he said it perfectly: 'The party is bigger than any of us.' ”
But plenty of Kimball backers said elites in the party treated Kimball poorly from the start.
“This was trumped up. It was a lynching," said Jerry DeLemus, who runs the Granite State Liberty PAC. "They got the mob going and off they went.”
Kimball’s seven months as chairman were dogged by infighting, special election losses and fundraising questions. His resignation elevates longtime party number 2, Wayne MacDonald, who will serve out the remainder of Kimball term, which ends in January 2013.