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Head of Illinois Republican Party steps down

The head of the Illinois Republican Party has resigned. Chairman Pat Brady’s public support of same-sex marriage had sparked controversy among GOP leaders. 

Brady was scheduled to send his resignation letter to the state party early this morning - effective immediately.

Yesterday, Brady said he’s stepping down to be with his family, while his wife battles ovarian cancer.

BRADY: I need to be home, uh, with her. But you know, it’s a combination of things, but I’ve been doing it for four years so it’s time for - for new blood.

Brady made national headlines in January when he bucked the party line and announced his support for a same-sex marriage bill that’s pending in Springfield.

Brady says the controversy is part of the reason he’s quitting.

BRADY: The gay marriage...issue...was just something that certainly angered some people on the central committee and they wanted a different direction.

Brady’s detractors also point to the GOP’s poor showing in November’s elections.

They couldn’t muster the votes to fire him at a party meeting in April - but have been quietly searching for his replacement ever since.