Conservative-backed veterans group restructures after leader quits

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By Leo Shane III

The head of Concerned Veterans for America — a key voice on the GOP presidential campaign trail — quietly resigned earlier this month, forcing a leadership reorganization for the group just weeks before the first primaries.

Pete Hegseth had been president and chief executive officer of CVA since July 2012, helping the group quickly to become a prominent voice among congressional Republicans, although officials have long insisted their goal is to build a bipartisan consensus on Veterans Affairs reform.

Hegseth served as an Army National Guard major and deployed to both Iraq and Cuba during his 11-year career. He has also worked as a Fox News contributor and as an organizer on numerous conservative campaigns, making him a sometimes controversial figure on Capitol Hill.

Both Hegseth and CVA officials said his decision to step down was mutual, dismissing rumors of a rift between the former CEO and the group’s financial backers. Hegseth said he’ll be releasing a book in early May and pursuing advocacy work broader than just VA issues.

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