WASHINGTON (CNN) – South Carolina Republican Party Chairman Katon Dawson told supporters Monday he will seek the chairmanship of the Republican National Committee, pledging to help rebuild the party after devastating losses on Election Day.
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Three weeks ago, Democrats gained control of the White House after eight years of Republican rule, and won at least 20 additional House seats and at least seven Senate seats to add to their majorities in both chambers. Democrats are now two seats shy of securing a filibuster-proof majority of 60 seats in the Senate. That result which will be determined when the winners of the Georgia and Minnesota Senate races are called next month.
“I am running to serve as chairman of the Republican National Committee because I’m ready to help lead our party’s turnaround,” Dawson said in a prepared statement. “We need to turn around our fortunes in many regions of the country. We need to turn around our grassroots organization, our fundraising, our use of technology and new media, and our candidate recruitment. We must move forward with the confidence that our message of optimism, hope, and freedom still resonates in the hearts of our fellow Americans.”
Dawson told CNN Sunday afternoon he would formally declare his candidacy on Monday.
In his Monday statement, he touted his “aggressive” approach to fundraising, and Republican success in maintaining control of political offices in his state. He also noted that Republicans “made outreach to non-traditional Republican voters a priority” specifically the state GOP’s selection of an African-American to serve as an RNC member and the election of a black Republican to the General Assembly. Diversifying the Republican Party is a hot topic of discussion - one of Dawson’s rivals for the nomination is former Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele, who is African-American.