Pat Brady

(Screen capture from Illinois GOP website)

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.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Reporting from WBEZ's Tony Arnold and Ammad Omar used in this report.

Republicans are criticizing President Barack Obama for visiting his home state Wednesday.

The Democratic president is scheduled to visit Western Illinois as part of a Midwestern tour.

Illinois Republican Party Chairman Pat Brady says Mr. Obama's policies have not helped the state's economy.