New shake-ups in North Dakota GOP leadership

FARGO – After barely eight months directing North Dakota’s Republican Party, Laurie Eisenbeis has stepped down as head of party operations.

Party Chairman Stan Stein made the announcement this afternoon, saying Eisenbeis wants to spend more time with her family. Eisenbeis has accepted a position with Shiloh Christian School in Bismarck, where her daughter attends, Stein said.

Eisenbeis joined the NDGOP leadership office in late January, filling a vacancy left by former executive director Adam Jones. (Jones resigned late last year to take a job in Utah.)

Since Eisenbeis served as the NDGOP’s finance director in the late ’90s, her interest in the job stood out, Stein said at the time.

In his statement today, Stein said, “Laurie has been a great asset to the party during her time with us, and although we regret to see her go, we know that she is making the right decision for her family and for the organization.”

Eisenbeis will still be involved with the NDGOP “on a more informal level,” Stein said.

Nonetheless, her departure leaves the state Republican Party back where they were at the beginning of the year: Looking for strong, stable leadership in advance of the pivotal 2012 election – when Republicans are aiming for a strong showing at all levels of the ballot.

Until a replacement is found, Stein said the party would appoint University of Mary senior Matt Becker as its communications director.

Becker previously worked for the party on a contract-basis, including revamping the party’s website. He has also interned with Republican Sen. John Hoeven‘s Capitol Hill office and with the conservative advocacy group, Americans for Prosperity, Stein said.

“As we gear up for a critically important election year, (Matt) will be an integral part of getting our message out to the people of North Dakota,” Stein said.

The North Dakota Democratic-NPL Party has also had its own changes in leadership this year. Former executive director Joe Aronson resigned this spring to head up Delaware’s Democratic Party. In May, Iowa native Andy Zabel was chosen to take his place.