Illinois GOP Chairman Pat Brady says he's stepping down for personal reasons and not because of rifts within the party.
Brady announced his resignation Tuesday in a letter to the state party's central committee.
In a phone interview with The Associated Press, Brady says his wife has been battling "very serious" cancer for two years and he wants to focus on her and their four children.
He declined to discuss divisions within the party since its poor showing in last year's elections, but said persistent calls for him to step down had nothing to do with his decision.
Social conservatives have called for Brady's removal, in part because he took a stand in favor of gay marriage earlier this year. They also cite Republicans' poor results in the 2012 election.