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Members say presumptive House Speaker John A. Boehner’s candidate is Maria Cino, who was Ed Gillespie’s deputy chairman for day-to-day operations when he was RNC chairman from 2003 to 2004. She is not an RNC member.

The candidate of Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour and his nephew, Mississippi GOP Chairman Henry Barbour, is RNC general counsel and Wisconsin GOP Chairman Reince Priebus, a Steele loyalist and personal adviser.

Members say Mr. Rove’s favorite to replace Mr. Steele is former RNC co-chairman Ann Wagner of Missouri, a former ambassador to Luxembourg and whose husband, Ray Wagner, is close to Mr. Rove.

Members said Mrs. Wagner has been calling around to gauge receptivity to her as someone who can raise the money to pay off the RNC’s huge debt from the midterms and raise vast sums for the 2012 presidential elections. They said her strong suit was experience as RNC co-chairman for four years, as Missouri GOP chairman for six years and as manager of Rep. Roy Blunt’s Senate campaign this year, which she took from an 11 percentage point deficit to a 14-point margin of victory.