New Orleans (CNN) – Thirty-one members of the Republican National Committee have signed on to a letter re-affirming their support for chairman Michael Steele in the wake of a spending scandal that has rocked the committee and handed the embattled party leader the most serious challenge of his term.
The letter, organized by Steele allies on the committee over the last 12 hours and provided to CNN, is intended to give the chairman a much-needed boost after nearly two weeks of bad press. It's signed by 31 state GOP chairs from around the country, with more expected to sign on.
The statement of support comes a day after two members of the RNC - both from North Carolina - called on Steele to resign. A number of committee members are gathered in New Orleans, where the Southern Republican Leadership Conference is being held. Steele is scheduled to address the conference on Saturday.
The state chairs called Steele's record of winning elections "stellar" and described his fundraising ability as "solid."
"The charge of any national Chairman is to raise money and win elections," the letter reads, touting the $100 million has raised as chairman and signature GOP victories in Virginia, New Jersey and Massachusetts.
Read the full letter after the jump:
The letter makes no explicit mention of the controversies Steele has brought to the RNC. But the statement makes a vague acknowledgment of his tumultuous tenure, saying that, "Change can sometimes be difficult."
"But the changes Michael Steele has brought to the RNC were essential for our party to adapt, and win, when we do not, for the moment, hold the White House or Congress," the party chairs, many of them Steele allies, wrote.
"We are on the verge of what could be a historic election," said California GOP chairman Ron Nehring, one of the organizers of the letter. "We could well take back the House, the Senate, and the majority of the governorships. The chairs in the states know remaining focused on that goal with the team that delivered Virginia, New Jersey and Massachusetts is key to making that happen."
To fire Steele, two-thirds of the RNC's 168 members would have to support a resolution calling for the ouster of the chairman.
Republican State Chairmen Line Up Behind RNC Chairman Michael Steele
NEW ORLEANS – State Republican leaders from around the country today quickly lined up to show their strong support the Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele for his strong record in winning elections, raising funds to support the Republican campaign, and creating a strong partnership with state parties.
As additional state leaders continue to sign on, 31 chairs have signed the following statement as of this moment:
As Republican Party state chairmen, we believe Chairman Michael Steele can lead the RNC to be a full partner with us this fall in our efforts to fire Nancy Pelosi and win Republican majorities in Congress and among governors. His record at winning elections has been stellar, his fundraising ability has been solid, and he has honed our Victory programs' ability to identify and deliver voters for Republican candidates.
The charge of any national Chairman is to raise money and win elections. With over $100 million raised, victories in Virginia, New Jersey and Massachusetts, and victories in 29 of 37 special elections, Michael Steele has demonstrated that under his Chairmanship the RNC has the ability, focus, and drive to lead Republicans to a sweeping victory in November.
The RNC under Chairman Michael Steele is a full partner with state committees, responsive to our needs, and intensely interested in providing the support necessary for victory. That process is not an easy process. Technology has had a great impact on the art of politics. That impact has required the RNC to adapt and change to work effectively in this modern environment. Change can sometimes be difficult. But the changes Michael Steele has brought to the RNC were essential for our party to adapt, and win, when we do not, for the moment, hold the White House or Congress.
We stand behind Chairman Steele as he continues to lead us on the path victory in November.
Randy Ruedrich, Alaska
Ron Nehring, California
Dick Wadhams, Colorado
Chris Healy, Connecticut
Tom Ross, Delaware
Robert Kabel, District of Columbia
Sue Everhart, Georgia
Jesus Torres, Guam
Jonah Ka'auwai, Hawaii
Norman Semanko, Idaho
Pat Brady, Illinois
Steve Robertson, Kentucky
Charlie Webster, Maine
Audrey Scott, Maryland
Jennifer Nassour, Massachusetts
Ron Weiser, Michigan
Tony Sutton, Minnesota
Will Deschamps, Montana
Mark Fahleson, Nebraska
John Sununu, New Hampshire
Jay Webber, New Jersey
Harvey Yates, New Mexico
Robert Tiernan, Oregon
Rob Gleason, Pennsylvania
Gio Cicione, Rhode Island
Chris Devaney, Tennessee
Dave Hansen, Utah
Steven Larrabee, Vermont
Pat Mullins, Virginia
Luke Esser, Washington
Reince Priebus, Wisconsin