The Republican Party chairman for the state of Illinois resigned on Tuesday, telling CNN that he’d lost the party’s support after endorsing marriage equality earlier this year.
“I’ve been going at it hard for six years, I need to focus on my family, and obviously I had lost the support of the state Central Committee because of my position on gay marriage,” Pat Brady reportedly said. Brady’s wife is also suffering from cancer.
His announcement comes just one month after Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) became the second Republican senator to endorse marriage equality, amid a debate in the general assembly on whether to allow same sex marriage in the state. That bill appears to be on the brink of passage in the House, and Gov. Pat Quinn (D) has indicated that he will sign it.
Brady, who’s run the Illinois GOP since 2009, has been trying to stave off party critics who’ve sought to have him removed ever since he announced his support for marriage equality. Attempts to do just that in February and April failed, but last month the GOP’s state central committee approved a plan to search for a successor. Brady’s resignation was all but certain after that.
“In stepping down, I want to express thanks to my wife, Julie and our four children,” he wrote in his resignation letter, which did not mention marriage equality. “Although the role will change, I will continue to be active in Illinois and national politics in a variety of capacities, including organizations supporting our candidates in the upcoming gubernatorial and congressional races,” he added.
This video is from WGN-TV, published Tuesday, May 7, 2013.