January 13th, 2009
10:14 PM ET
13 years ago

Dawson, Duncan nab endorsements in RNC race

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/01/07/art.getty.rnc.logo.jpg caption="The election for RNC chairman will take place on Jan. 30."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - South Carolina GOP chairman Katon Dawon picked up a pair of new endorsements Tuesday in his bid to run the Republican National Committee, including the support of Mississippi committee member Henry Barbour, the nephew of popular former RNC chairman Haley Barbour.

Barbour's endorsement - confirmed by Dawson's campaign - is notable because his uncle, now the governor of Mississippi, caught the attention of RNC members last week when he suggested Republicans should avoid tapping a Southerner to helm the party.

"There are some people that want to attack us as being too southern," Haley Barbour told USA Today on Jan. 5. "I don't think we ought to make it easier for them to do that."

Along with Dawson, southerners Chip Saltsman (Tennessee) and Mike Duncan (Kentucky) are seeking the RNC post.

Dawson also nabbed the backing of longtime New Jersey committee member David Norcross, who said he was initially hesitant to offer his support to a southerner, but changed his mind after examining Dawson’s record of winning statewide races in South Carolina.

Norcross said it's important to have a chairman "who comes from the strongest region for our party, who is willing to offer a hand to the northeast and the mountain west." New Jersey's other two members - state chair Tom Wilson and committeewoman Virginia Haines - have endorsed Michigan GOP chairman Saul Anuzis.

Dawson wasn’t the only RNC member to pick up support Tuesday.

Duncan, the incumbent chairman, announced the backing of two committee members from West Virginia, Jim Reed and Donna Lou Gosney. In a letter to RNC members explaining their choice, Reed and Gosney cited Duncan’s fundraising prowess and his insider’s understanding of party mechanics.

"Mike Duncan is a nuts-and-bolts chairman who understands the mechanism we need in states like West Virginia to build our party from the grassroots up, so we can enjoy lasting victories, not just short-term or sporadic success," they wrote in the letter.

To win the chairmanship, a candidate needs at least 85 votes from the party's 168 members, but this year's crowded contest could see several rounds of balloting when the party gathers at the annual RNC Winter Meeting in Washington at the end of the month.

Though most committee members have remained mum on who they're supporting, a number of public endorsements have begun to trickle out following a series of RNC-related meetings in Washington last week, during which the six candidates made their pitches to party members.

Duncan leads his rivals with 20 endorsements, followed by Dawson, Anuzis and former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, all of whom now have 12 member endorsements, according to YourRNC.com, a Web site tracking the contest.

They are followed by former Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele, who has nine endorsements, and Saltsman, the former Tennessee party chairman, who has yet to announce any member support.

Filed under: RNC
soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. go away mongers -Ventura ca

    I seem to recall his State's Republican Cmte. doing some real dance steps around the truth during the election. That's what they (republicans) seem to go for though....liars and biggots. Too bad.

    January 13, 2009 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  2. Imarepublicanreally

    I beg of you, please choose Chip Saltsman. He is the man to lead us in these trying times. He can bring Sarah back to give us the White House in 2017.

    January 13, 2009 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |

    "There are some people that want to attack us as being too southern,"

    Too Southern? No worries Bubba it is kinda peachy in a redneck sort of way.

    White guys or gals should rule in the bible belt after ail it is God's well!

    I smell a dream ticket,

    Coulter/Palin 2012!

    Two cute babes with slim hips that will make all those hippie wemin libbers pissed off! Two pieces of eye candy will really get under the skin of the libs be dopes and the elitist!

    God is smilin' on the "good christians", 2012 will be your year.

    January 13, 2009 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  4. Jeff from Jersey

    The Barbour's are so southern they're related to themselves.Great to see the republicans have their own version of "All in the Family" pulling for Dawson.Gives it a real "down home" look.

    They ought to give it to Elizabeth Dole.She's only got 1 foot in her mouth.

    January 13, 2009 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  5. Home of the Free

    It's funny how 2 black guys thought they would leave the Republican Party.lolololololol

    January 13, 2009 11:40 pm at 11:40 pm |
  6. Chris in Va.

    The funny racist Saltsman should fit in nicely with the party of closed minded bigots.

    January 13, 2009 11:52 pm at 11:52 pm |
  7. Losers at CNN

    can't handle real comments can you ?

    January 14, 2009 12:06 am at 12:06 am |
  8. Perusing-through

    Who ever takes the RNC lead better understand that many "pragmatic conservatives", are growing tired of having their party hijacked by the extreme right, James Dobson and the political wing of the Christian Evangelicals.

    Ironically, many pragmatic conservatives who are regular church going Christians, have now turned against the 'Dobsonites' and their Evangelical ditto-heads. They have done so by voting for Obama & Biden national leadership. Moderate Republicans and Independents are also making the leap because they are sick of the hypocrisy of the Dobsonites.

    January 14, 2009 12:06 am at 12:06 am |
  9. Sye the Pychic

    Good night everyone and lets lose a little more hate tomorrow.

    January 14, 2009 12:15 am at 12:15 am |
  10. Bill

    The Republican Party is still around?

    January 14, 2009 12:17 am at 12:17 am |
  11. World Leader

    The only person that is fit to run the Republican Party is Ron Paul. All the rest are just the same old dog and pony crowd with a progressive liberal twist.

    January 14, 2009 12:49 am at 12:49 am |
  12. Jeff in Illinois

    Bah, saw the headline and I thought maybe Andre Dawson was elected to the HOF after all. That would have been more interesting.

    January 14, 2009 01:04 am at 1:04 am |
  13. WE shall overcome

    Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall. Humpty Dumpty had a great fall. And all the King's horsemen and all the King's men couldn't put Humpty Dumpty back together again....GOBAMA 2009-2016!!!!!

    January 14, 2009 03:02 am at 3:02 am |