(Updated to reflect announcement as anticipated with a quote from GOP chairman)
The Kansas Republican Party on Thursday announced that executive director Jim Joice is stepping down to take a job on Capitol Hill.
Joice is expected to leave state the party at the end of the year to take a job as the communications director for 2nd District Congressman-elect Steve Watkins. Joice is expected to start his new job Jan. 3.
The University of Kansas graduate became the state GOP executive director last April.
Joice previously had run Republican Mark Hutton's unsuccessful campaign for governor this year . . .