JUNEAU (AP) -- Longtime Republican activist Tuckerman Babcock resigned Friday after less than a month as chairman of the Republican Party of Alaska, citing a private family matter.
Babcock moved from vice chairman to chairman last month when Tom McKay unexpectedly resigned the chairmanship at the party's state convention.
His ascent was widely considered a victory for the conservative wing of the party and prompted grumbling from some moderates. Babcock said any controversy had nothing to do with his decision to resign.
''My family just demands that I not be involved,'' said Babcock.
Vice chairman Randy Ruedrich of Anchorage automatically become chairman under the party's rules, said Rex Shattuck, the party's press secretary.
''We see it as being a pretty simple transition,'' Shattuck said. ''We've got a very important fall election cycle coming up and we don't want to miss a beat on that.''
Babcock ran much of John Lindauer's disastrous 1998 campaign for governor, leaving as Lindauer began to admit that his rich second wife was bankrolling his run.
Babcock works for the Matanuska Electric Association, leading the utility's lobbying efforts and strategic affairs department.
He led Gov. Walter Hickel's redistricting effort in the early 1990s, which helped the GOP take control of the Legislature.
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