Steele draws another challenger in RNC race
November 29th, 2010
10:03 AM ET
10 years ago

Steele draws another challenger in RNC race

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.

Filed under: Ann Wagner • Michael Steele • RNC
soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. Ben in Texas

    And Repugnants continue their search for an RNC chairperson who won't consistently and doggedly embarrass the GObP. Tough job for a bunch of rich guy sycophants, corporate stooges and partisan hacks.

    November 29, 2010 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  2. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Way to throw Michael Steele under the bus Re"Fascist"icans.

    November 29, 2010 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  3. jules sand-perkins

    No recent Republican election victories were caused by Michael Steele's awkward, extravagant leadership.
    "Simply put, it wouldn't have happened" without Obama's failure as president.

    November 29, 2010 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  4. T'sah from Virginia

    What's the DEAL – STEELE? They are coming after you from all sides!! Why aren't you in the news lately? As a matter of fact, the RepubliCAN'Ts are keeping a LOW PROFILE recently. I guess their "talking points" got OLD and they are re-schooling themselves with a different tone. The ONLY maniac out there is Sarah Palin, Rover and ginGRINCH – the Three Stooges/Losers!!!

    How does it FEEL now Steele?
    When you are no longer the DEAL
    Spending money until you got BUSTED
    Now in their eyes you can no longer be TRUSTED

    You thought you had NO worries or CARES
    As you DROVE the country exposing personal AFFAIRS!!
    But when the CRAP really hit the fan you THOUGHT!!
    It'll be OVER-LQQKed and you’ll never get CAUGHT!!

    It’s all about the COLOR and not being a good FELLOW!!

    If you get out of this STEELE and win again – I will be the FIRST ONE to eat my words!!!

    November 29, 2010 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  5. Lynda/Minnesota

    From the looks of her, she couldn't do any worse than Steele...

    November 29, 2010 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  6. T'sah from Virginia

    Oh my – CNN left me out there "hanging"!! So, I guess the RIGHT will come after me!!! LMAO!!! Too bad I will not be able to "come back at cha'!!!

    November 29, 2010 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  7. Fair is Fair

    "It’s all about the COLOR and not being a good FELLOW!!"

    Odd... it's been the liberals who have been calling him an "Uncle Tom"... thereby making it "all about the color". So if he's in he's a "token", and if he's out, it's "all about the color". Typical liberal thinking, I guess.

    November 29, 2010 11:51 am at 11:51 am |