After working two years without pay, Minnesota Republican Party Chairman Tony Sutton is now taking a salary.

Sutton said Tuesday he will be paid $100,000 annually for his role leading the state party, starting July 1.

He will make about $8,000 a year less than DFL Party Chairman Ken Martin.

“The Republicans are getting more bang for their buck,” said Sutton, 43.

Sutton said he asked for the salary after leaving his leadership post with Baja Sol, the fast-casual Mexican restaurant chain owned by Republican donor Bill Cooper.

After leaving Baja Sol, Sutton started and briefly ran a political consulting firm.

“I am at a different place in my life than I was two years ago,” said Sutton, who was unanimously re-elected by party activists this spring.

Sutton is widely credited with helping Republicans take control of both chambers of the Legislature for the first time in decades.

Now he must lead the state party's effort to defeat President Barack Obama and find a challenger for Democratic U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar.