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A.J. Spiker Stepping Down as Iowa GOP Chairman

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DES MOINES, Iowa Ames real estate broker A.J. Spiker has informed leaders of the Republican Party of Iowa that he is stepping down as the party's chairman.

Spiker announced that he was stepping down in a letter sent to members of the party's State Central Committee. He said his resignation would be effective upon election of a new state chairman. In the letter mailed Friday, Spiker announced that the election of a new chairman would take place during the State Central Committee's quarterly business meeting on March 29.

Spiker served as a member of the GOP State Central Committee from April 2010 until he was elected state chairman in February 2012. He was re-elected in January 2013.

A GOP statement said Spiker leaves the Iowa GOP's top position with more than $300,000 cash on hand and no debt. The election of Spiker's successor will take place on Saturday, March 29, at 11 a.m. at the GOP headquarters in Des Moines.

Spiker, a Ron Paul supporter, had drawn criticism from establishment Republicans at times during his tenure, but issued a defiant "I'm not going away" response last September to GOP critics who urged him to step down for the sake of party unity and the 2014 election effort. The GOP chairman drew criticism for decisions dealing with the dates for the party's 2014 caucuses and state convention that drew controversy, and over the state party's lackluster fundraising.

In a September email to Iowa Republicans, Spiker defended his record as a state party chair who had spoken out for traditional values and traditional marriage, low taxes, right to life positions, education freedom, and a "pro-American" foreign policy.

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