Washington (CNN) – Ann Wagner, the former head of the Missouri Republican Party and chairwoman of Roy Blunt's successful U.S. Senate campaign, announced Monday that she will seek the top post at the Republican National Committee.
Wagner, who served as co-chair of the RNC between 2002 and 2005, had already filed paperwork to run for the post but made her intentions official in a video message to committee members.
Though she made no mention of current party chairman Michael Steele in her announcement, Wagner's promise to be "efficient, relevant, professional and credible" ahead of the 2012 presidential cycle is clearly aimed at RNC members frustrated with Steele's handling of the party's finances and messaging.
"Fundraising must come first," Wagner said in the video. "We also must have greater transparency and accountability when it comes to the RNC's budget and expenditures. As a former Co-Chairman and member, I know how important it is for the RNC membership to be fully informed and engaged."
Wagner is the second candidate to officially enter the race, after Michigan committeeman Saul Anuzis. Others contemplating bids are Former Bush administration official Maria Cino, former RNC political director Gentry Collins, Wisconsin GOP chairman Reince Priebus and Connecticut GOP chairman Chris Healy.
Steele has yet to make his intentions but has already taken steps to run for a second term.
Despite losing the support of some top allies in recent weeks, including Illinois GOP chairman Pat Brady, Steele maintains strong support among committee members from states traditionally not considered battlegrounds that nonetheless received RNC money during the last election cycle.
On Sunday, in response to an email from Arizona GOP chairman Randy Pullen to committee members calling for a change in RNC leadership, Idaho GOP chairman Norm Semanko defended Steele's record and said Raul Labrador, the Republican candidate Idaho's 1st Congressional District, would not have pulled off his upset win without RNC funds.
"Simply put, it wouldn't have happened without Michael Steele's vision, leadership, and commitment to competing in all 50 states; the same kind of gameplan and skillset that we'll need to win in 2012," Semanko wrote in the email, provided to CNN by a committee member.
The RNC vote will take place in mid January, at the committee's winter meeting.