PARKERSBURG - The executive director of the West Virginia Democratic Party is stepping down.
Derek Scarbro Thursday said he was leaving in March. Scarbro has been executive director of the party for more than nine years.
"I wanted to give the party leadership time to find a replacement and to help provide a smooth transition by announcing my departure months in advance," Scarbro said in a release issued by the party. "I have greatly enjoyed my time here helping candidates run for office and working with dedicated West Virginians across the state."
Scarbro is the husband of Sara Payne Scarbro, a chief member on the staff of Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va.
Scarbro had no comment on his plans, saying only that he has served his time and that most directors stay for a couple years.
"He's been a fairly conscientious guy," said Harold Brown, chairman of the Wood County Democratic Party. "He did an adequate job."
Brown, who is stepping down as chairman of the county party in April, said he hopes the next executive director will be proactive.
"I'm sure there's no shortage of talent," he said.
Scarbro's announcement comes the day after the West Virginia Republican Party said it hired William Ward Wyatt as the next executive director of the Republican Party. Wyatt, nicknamed 3-Dub, worked on Kent Leonhardt's campaign for commissioner of agriculture in West Virginia.
"Derek has been an invaluable asset to us at the headquarters," Democratic Party Chairman Larry Puccio said.
The job is not easy, Puccio said.
"It's not an easy job juggling all of the politics, managing a staff that grows and shrinks with each election, plus all of the fundraising and the budgeting, but Derek has served me and past chairmen with professionalism and dedication," Puccio said.
The release from the party included statements of praise from Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, Sen. Jay Rockefeller, Rep. Nick Rahall and Manchin.
Scarbro will remain on staff to help with a transition, Puccio said. Puccio also said he will make an announcement about a new director in the coming weeks.