[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/07/24/art.pawlenty.gi.jpg caption="Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty has been elected the vice chair of the Republican Governors Association."](CNN) - Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty has been elected as the vice chairman of the Republican Governors Association, the organization announced Monday.
"His firsthand knowledge of how to win in a so-called purple state will be a major asset to the RGA," Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, the RGA's chairman, said in the statement.
South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford stepped down from his post as the RGA's chairman in the wake of admitting to an extramarital affair. When Sanford's resigned from his RGA leadership post, Barbour ascended from vice chair to chairman, leaving the group's no. 2 spot open until Pawlenty's election.