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Article published March 6, 2014
Smith resigns as county GOP chairman
The Butler County Republican Committee will be under new leadership next week. Chairman Jeff Smith this morning announced his resignation effective March 15. Under committee bylaws, Ed Natali, the internal vice chair, will succeed Smith as chairman. Natali, 49, of Butler Township said in an interview this morning he wants to continue what Smith started since becoming chairman in 2011. “Under Jeff’s leadership, the committee has done very well,” Natali said. “I will continue in his footsteps.” During Smith’s tenure, the GOP retained all county row offices and more than 91 percent of contested municipal races, including the Butler mayor’s race. Smith, the city treasurer and chairman of the Butler County Council of Governments, said he is resigning now to ensure there is a smooth transition. “Being chairman requires a focus on candidates running for office,” Smith said. “I’d like to serve the county in a different way.” Smith, 59, of Butler would not confirm he is running again for county commissioner in 2015. “It’s a little early to announce one’s candidacy for a 2015 race,” he said. Smith ran an unsuccessful bid for commissioner in 2011. Natali is an executive account manager for Siemans in Canonsburg. The committee now has to fill the post of external vice chair.