ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The chairman of Minnesota’s Republican Party says he won’t run for a third term.

Keith Downey made the news official Thursday after weeks of indicating his second term as party chair would be his last. The former Republican state lawmaker took over the party in 2013 and helped reduce a massive party debt built up during a costly 2010 gubernatorial recount.

Downey is openly considering his own gubernatorial bid in 2018, when the seat will be open after Gov. Mark Dayton steps down. Downey served two terms in the state House before becoming chair of the Republican Party of Minnesota.

The race for the governor’s office is expected to be crowded on both sides. Two Democrats have already launched campaigns.

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