The head of Colorado's Republican Party announced Tuesday he won't seek another two-year term in March.

Ted Halaby's (search) announcement came just months after the GOP lost control of a Senate seat and a House seat and, for the first time in 42 years, both houses of the state Legislature. Many party officials blamed Halaby, party chairman since 2003, for the November losses.

"While personal considerations have played a role (in the decision to step down), the most important factor is the change in the federal and state campaign finance laws," Halaby said in a letter to Republican Gov. Bill Owens (search) and other party leaders.

Halaby said Democrats did a better job of exploiting new finance laws that allow donors to give unlimited amounts to groups that focus on specific issues, as long as the groups don't name a candidate in their advertising.

A leading contender to replace Halaby is Chuck Broerman (search), vice chairman of the party.

In November, Democratic Attorney General Ken Salazar (search) defeated beer magnate Pete Coors to win the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Republican Ben Nighthorse Campbell. Salazar's older brother John defeated Republican Greg Walcher in the 3rd House District, held by Republicans since 1990.