Illinois Republican chairman Pat Brady steps down

Tue. May 7, 2013 7:11 AM by News Staff

Pat Brady stepping down for personal reasons

Chicago, IL - Illinois Republican Chairman Pat Brady announced his resignation as Chairman of the Illinois Republican Party in a letter sent Tuesday to the state party's central committee.

Despite several unsuccessful attempts to oust him as party chairman over his support for same-sex marriage, Brady said his resignation is for personal reasons. He told the Associated Press that his wife, Julie Brady, has been battling cancer for two years and that he wants to focus on her and their four children.

"In stepping down, I want to express thanks to my wife, Julie and our four children," Brady wrote in his resignation letter. He also thanked Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Illinois), House GOP Leader Tom Cross and Senate GOP Leader Christine Radogno.

Current Vice-Chairman Carol Smith Donovan will serve as interim Chairman until the Illinois Republican State Central Committee selects a permanent replacement.

Brady, elected chairman for the Illinois Republican Party in 2009, earlier this year upset members of his party when he encouraged Republicans in the Illinois General Assembly to support proposed same-sex marriage legislation.

"Under Pat Brady's leadership, the Republican Party has stayed focused on its core value: that government should respect people's private lives. And I am proud of his support of the freedom to marry," Equality Illinois CEO Bernard Cherkasov told

Conservative members of the state Republican Party, lead by anti-gay state Sen. Jim Oberweis (R-Sugar Grove), have tried since January to remove Brady as party chairman after he voiced his support for marriage equality.

Top GOP officials, including Rep. Cross, Sen. Kirk, former Republican Govs. Jim Thompson and Jim Edgar, and Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka, have sounded support for Brady and agreed that the party should be more inclusive.

"I hope that even after his departure, the party leaders continue that support for the freedom to marry - or else it's going to be irrelevant for the future generation of voters," said Cherkasov.

On April 7, state Rep. Ed Sullivan Jr. (R-Mundelein) announced his support of a marriage equality bill which awaits a vote in the Illinois House. Sullivan becomes the second House Republican to support the legislation after state Rep. Ron Sandack (R-Downer's Grove) announced his support.

The Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act passed the House Executive Committee in a narrow 6-5 vote Feb. 26, and the full state Senate Feb. 14. A full House vote is the final hurdle before the measure reaches Gov. Pat Quinn.

Supporters of the bill say a House vote could come this week as they are closing in on the 60 votes needed for approval.

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