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Club for Growth chief Chocola stepping down

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The influential conservative Club for Growth announced Thursday that its current president, Chris Chocola, is retiring at the end of the year.

Chocola, who ran the fiscally conservative group for six years, will be replaced by David McIntosh, who served in Congress from 1995-2001.

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In a statement, Chocola said it was an honor to lead the group, calling it the “most effective advocate for pro-growth policies in Washington.”

The Club, along with other outside conservative forces, has been a force in Washington debates, since Republicans took control of the House in 2010. It has frequently bucked GOP leaders and urged conservatives to shoot down legislation they say strays from conservative principles.

Most recently, the group urged lawmakers to vote against a massive, $1.1 trillion funding bill that would avoid a government shutdown, calling the legislation "unacceptable to fiscal conservatives."

McIntosh gave little indication the Club would be backing away from its pressure strategy under his leadership.

“The Club for Growth is known as America’s premier organization for fighting big-government liberals in both parties, and I’m looking forward to building on that reputation,” he said. “The Club is the tip of the spear when it comes to holding Members of Congress accountable for their actions.”

Chocola will remain on the group’s board of directors.