[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/04/09/art.steele0409.gi.jpg caption ="The number of Republican National Committee members now publicly backing embattled Chairman Michael Steele is now at 58."]New Orleans (CNN) - The number of Republican National Committee members now publicly backing embattled Chairman Michael Steele is at 58 - a tally that makes it mathematically impossible for Steele to be removed from his job before his term expires next year, barring some unforeseen implosion.
For Steele to be ousted, two-thirds of the 168 committee members would have to support a resolution to that effect. Though two members of the RNC have demanded Steele’s resignation - and one committee member has resigned in protest over the committee's spending habits - there does not appear to be an appetite on the committee to topple their own leader in the middle of an election year.
The committee members affirmed their support in a letter organized over the last 24 hours by Maryland committeewoman Joyce Terhes and California GOP chairman Ron Nehring in response to calls for Steele to step down. The letter was provided to CNN by a Republican source.
Earlier Friday, 31 members signed on to the statement of support but more joined as the day progressed. Notably, several of Steele’s critics on the committee have not endorsed the letter.
Read the full statement after the jump:
FROM: Joyce Lyons Terhes, Maryland National Committeewomen
TO: All Interested Parties
As Republican National Committee Members, 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.
Joyce Terhes, National Committeewoman, Maryland Randy Ruedrich, State Chairman, Alaska Sharon Giese, National Committeewoman, Arizona Linda Ackerman, National Committeewoman, California Ron Nehring, State Chairman, California Shawn Steel, National Committeeman, California Mark Hillman, National Committeeman, Colorado Lilly Nunez, National Committeewoman, Colorado Dick Wadhams, State Chairman, Colorado John Frey, National Committeeman, Connecticut Chris Healy, State Chairman, Connecticut Pat Longo, National Committeewoman, Connecticut Tom Ross, State Chairman, Delaware Robert Kabel, State Chairman, District of Columbia Betsy Werronen, National Committeewoman, District of Columbia Paul Senft, National Committeeman, Florida Sue Everhart, State Chairman, Georgia Peter Ada, National Committeeman, Guam Jesus Torres, State Chairman, Guam Jonah Ka'auwai, State Chairman, Hawaii Miriam Hellreich, National Committeewoman, Hawaii Cindy Moyle, National Committeewoman, Idaho Norman Semanko, State Chairman, Idaho Damond Watkins, National Committeeman, Idaho Pat Brady, State Chairman, Illinois Steve Robertson, State Chairman, Kentucky Charlie Webster, State Chairman, Maine Audrey Scott, State Chairman, Maryland Jody Dow, National Committeewoman, Massachusetts Jennifer Nassour, State Chairman, Massachusetts Holly Hughes, National Committeewoman, Michigan Keith Butler, National Committeeman, Michigan Ron Weiser, State Chairman, Michigan Tony Sutton, State Chairman, Minnesota Will Deschamps, State Chairman, Montana Mark Fahleson, State Chairman, Nebraska Heidi Smith, National Committeewoman, Nevada John Sununu, State Chairman, New Hampshire Ginny Haines, National Committeewoman, New Jersey Jay Webber, State Chairman, New Jersey Pat Rogers, National Committeeman, New Mexico Harvey Yates, State Chairman, New Mexico David Lewis, National Committeeman, North Carolina Robert Tiernan, State Chairman, Oregon Robert Gleason, State Chairman, Pennsylvania Gio Cicione, State Chairman, Rhode Island Mary Jean Jensen, National Committeewoman, South Dakota Chris Devaney, State Chairman, Tennessee Herb Schoenbohm, State Chairman, United States Virgin Islands Dave Hansen, State Chairman, Utah Bruce Hough, National Committeeman, Utah Enid Mickelsen, National Committeewoman, Utah Steven Larrabee, State Chairman, Vermont Pat Mullins, State Chairman, Virginia Luke Esser, State Chairman, Washington Mary Buestrin, National Committeewoman, Wisconsin Reince Priebus, State Chairman, Wisconsin Steve King, National Committeeman, Wisconsin