[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/01/29/rnc.chairman/art.mikeduncan.gi.jpg caption="Mike Duncan is seeking re-election as RNC chairman, but he is facing stiff competition within his own party."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - The unpredictable and sometimes acrimonious race to lead the GOP into the post-Bush era will culminate Friday when the Republican National Committee votes to elect its next chairman.
Party members, coming together in Washington this week at the RNC's annual Winter Meeting, are under pressure to reach out to young voters and minorities after those constituencies flocked to President Barack Obama in November.
There's also a demand from party activists to keep pace technologically with Democrats, who harnessed the Internet to out-organize their opponents in the last two election cycles.
While there has been much buzz about the possibility of an African-American leading the organization, the decision will be made behind closed doors by the 168 members of the RNC, party activists who are considering not just symbolic factors but also the nuts-and-bolts problems facing the party.
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