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Illinois GOP leader stepping down

Sept. 1, 2004 at 5:52 PM

NEW YORK, Sept. 1 (UPI) -- Illinois Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka says she will not reconsider plans to step down as state Republican Party chairman after the November elections.

Topinka, attending the GOP National Convention in New York City, has said she is worn out and will leave the post this fall. Topinka was the only Republican elected to statewide office in the 2002 election after a corruption scandal involving former Republican Gov. George Ryan.

She presided over the party's search for a replacement U.S. Senate candidate after nominee Jack Ryan withdrew because of sex club charges. Conservatives recruited Alan Keyes from Maryland after a six-week search by party moderates failed to produce a homegrown candidate.

I've put in a lot of time to the detriment of my health," Topinka told Crain's Chicago Business. "I just want to make sure (the next chairman) has similar goals to me: a big tent, moderate views."

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