Here’s a development that has been speculated about for well over a year now: Tom Basile has tendered his resignation as executive director of the state GOP, citing unspecified “personal and professional” considerations.

“There is more work to be done to rebuild our party, but due to certain personal and professional considerations I believe that now is the right time for me to move on,” Basile wrote in a June 18 letter to state GOP Chairman Ed Cox, his longtime political patron.

“I shall leave my current post effective July 31, 2011 to permit a proper operational transition. It is my hope to continue offering strategic counsel to you and the Party and contribute in other ways to the ongoing success of this institution under your leadership.”

“What we have done could not have been accomplished without the hard work and dedication of a wonderful staff who endured a running start to this administration in 2009 and the busiest political season this state had seen in more than 30 years in 2010. Both elections yielded historic victories for our Party.”

“Past and present staff, consultants and faithful volunteers each has my deep appreciation for their responsiveness and constant counsel.”

Basile, a Rockland County resident, got engaged not long ago, according to his Facebook page.

He has worked for Cox since the chairman’s ill-fated run for the US Senate back in 2006. Basile was also instrumental in helping Cox defeat then-Niagara County GOP Chairman Henry Wojtaszek in the battle for the state chairmanship at a time when most of the GOP old guard – including former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani and former Gov. George Pataki – had lined up against Cox.

Cox has had a bumpy tenure as chairman – to say the least. And Basile was a lightning rod for controversy, with county chairs and staffers alike grousing about his management style and lack of communication.

During the upheaval of the 2010 GOP gubernatorial primary, in which Cox unsuccessfully pushed for DEmocrat-turned-Republican Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy to get the nod (he was blocked from getting onto the ballot by former Rep. Rick Lazio, who lost in the primary to Carl Paladino), some called for Basile to be fired.

He wasn’t, but Cox did bring in former Assemblyman Tony Casale to help with party operations last November.

There was a call for Cox’s ouster in the wake of Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s big win last fall, along with the GOP’s loss of all statewide races. The chairman, whose two-year term ends next fall, refused to step down. He took credit for helping the Senate Republicans regain the majority and pointed to the six House wins for the GOP in Democrat-dominated New York – more than any other state.

Republicans have grumbled privately (and not so privately) that Cox oversold his involvement in these victories. He has definitely been at odds with segments of the national GOP, whose leaders did not support his wooing of Levy into the governor’s race.

TJB Letter to Chairman Cox