KirbyWilburKirby Wilbur is stepping down as head of the Washington State Republican Party to accept a five-year position with the Young America’s Foundation in Washington, D.C., according to a statement released from state party headquarters in Bellevue, Wash.

The party’s release indicated Wilbur’s resignation is effective today.

“I am resigning as the chairman of the Washington State Republican Party, effective today at 5:00 p.m. I have been offered a five-year contract with the Young America’s Foundation that I would be foolish not to accept,” Wilbur said. “I will be moving to the “other” Washington within the next couple of months to write this next chapter of my life.”

“It has been an honor to serve as chairman of the WSRP since January 2011,” Wilbur continued. “We have had many successes and I have had some failures. The Party has a good crop of up-and-coming leaders, and a strong staff, and it will continue to move forward no matter whose hand is on the helm.”

Wilbur has served as the WSRP Chairman since 2011 when he won a landslide victory over two-term incumbent Luke Esser, and in January 2013 – in the aftermath a rough 2012 election cycle – Wilbur won re-election.

Wilbur’s new role with Young America’s Foundation extends a more than three decade career in politics and activism, including a run from 1993 through 2009 as a consistently top-rated conservative talk radio host on KVI 570 AM.

Wilbur has been a YAF board member and has been very active in youth outreach in Washington state, including teaching home school classes on history, government and economics.

According the YAF website, the group’s mission is to “[ensure] that increasing numbers of young Americans understand and are inspired by the ideas of individual freedom, a strong national defense, free enterprise, and traditional values.”

According to party rules, WSRP Vice Chair Luanne VanWerven becomes the acting chairman during a maximum 90-day period in which the state committee must elect a permanent chair.

The WSRP is holding its state committee meeting August 23-24 in Spokane, Wash.

Update: At 7:45 p.m., the WSRP sent out another press release with a statement from interim-WSRP Chair Luanne VanWerven that read:

BELLEVUE, WA – Former Vice-Chair Luanne Van Werven released the following statement regarding her new role as Chair of the Washington State Republican Party:

“I want to wish Kirby Wilbur all the best in his future position at the Young America’s Foundation. He has served this Party and the state of Washington well as he championed conservative principles for more than 40 years.

“I am excited to step up and get to work with the great WSRP staff to ensure a seamless transition. Continuity for the Party is essential to ensuring big victories in 2013. This year, the Washington State Republican Party plans on adding one more member to the Majority Coalition Caucus by electing Rep. Jan Angel in November’s special election, along with many Republicans in local races across the state. Working toward a Republican majority in both chambers of the Legislature will be my goal, as it was my predecessor’s. I can’t wait to work with all the great Republicans across this state as we seek to reform state government so that it once again works for Washington’s families.”

Luanne Van Werven lives in Whatcom County, and was elected to the position of Vice-Chair for the Washington State Republican Party this past January. She served as Chair of the Whatcom County Republican Party for 4 years, and was elected as the Republican State Committeewoman for Whatcom County in December 2012.