Stanton Gildenhorn, citing "partisan bickering" over his position as Montgomery County's Democratic Party chairman, has resigned as a legal consultant to one of the companies vying for the county's cable television franchise.

Gildenhorn has been a local representative of Tribune-United of Montgomery County, named by an independent consultant hired by the county as offering the best proposal, with a slight edge over three others, among eight competing firms.

At a press conference several weeks ago, Del. Luiz Simmons, who is a candidate for county executive, and state Sen. Howard Denis, both Republicans, questioned the connection of Gildenhorn and other prominent Democrats with companies bidding for the lucrative, exclusive cable franchise. More recently, Republican Del. Robin Ficker called on Gildenhorn to resign either as party chairman or as legal consultant to the firm.

"I decided it would not be in my client's best interests to be in the middle of a political storm," the 39-year-old Silver Spring attorney said yesterday. He said he also has decided not to seek reelection as party chairman when his term expires on primary election day, Sept. 14.

Gildenhorn was hired last August as one of four attorneys representing Tribune-United, which is a joint venture of United Cable Television Corp. of Denver and The Tribune Co. of Chicago.