David Keene, the longtime leader of the group that sponsors the annual Conservative Political Action Conference, officially stepped down on Wednesday, a day before the 2011 conference begins.
Mr. Keene, who has headed the American Conservative Union since 1984, recently angered some social conservatives for allowing a gay Republican organization to be a sponsor of the conference. Mr. Keene had already announced that he would step down this year to become the head of the National Rifle Association. But he will still preside over the 2011 conference through this weekend.
In a news release, the conservative group said Mr. Keene would be replaced Al Cardenas, a businessman and lawyer who the organization said had been elected without opposition.
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