Priebus has early lead in RNC tally

Republican National Committee (RNC) member Borah Van Dormolen from Texas casts her vote for the next chairman of the Republican National Committee during the RNC Winter Meeting at the National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Md., on Friday, Jan. 14, 2011. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)Republican National Committee (RNC) member Borah Van Dormolen from Texas casts her vote for the next chairman of the Republican National Committee during the RNC Winter Meeting at the National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Md., on Friday, Jan. 14, 2011. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
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Wisconsin Republican Party chief Reince Priebus has the early momentum as Republican National Committee members gathered Friday afternoon to choose the party’s next chairman.

Mr. Priebus edged incumbent RNC Chairman Michael Steele in the first round of voting by the 168 members of the party’s central organ, 45-44, though both fell far short of the 85 votes needed to be elected. None of the other candidates — Maria Cino, a former Bush administration official who ran the party’s 2008 convention; former Michigan party chairman Saul Anuzis; and Ann Wagner, former ambassador to Luxembourg and a former head of the Missouri Republican Party — had more than 32 votes.

Mr. Priebus extended his lead in the second round, garnering 52 votes while Mr. Steele fell to 37 votes. Ms. Cino recieved 30 votes, Ms. Wagner 27 votes and Mr. Anuzis 22 votes.

Mr. Steele, former lieutenant governor of Maryland and the first black to head the Republican Party, is seeking a second two-year term as RNC head. But his rivals say the RNC has suffered financially and organizationally since he took over in January 2009.

The vote is the climax of the RNC’s annual three-day winter meeting, being held this year at the National Harbor resort just outside Washington D.C.

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About the Author
Ralph Z. Hallow

Ralph Z. Hallow

Chief political writer Ralph Z. Hallow served on the Chicago Tribune, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Washington Times editorial boards, was Ford Foundation Fellow in Urban Journalism at Northwestern University, resident at Columbia University Editorial-Page Editors Seminar and has filed from Berlin, Bonn, London, Paris, Geneva, Vienna, Amman, Beirut, Cairo, Damascus, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Belgrade, Bucharest, Panama and Guatemala.

 

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David R. Sands

David R. Sands

Raised in Northern Virginia, David R. Sands received an undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia and a master’s degree from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He worked as a reporter for several Washington-area business publications before joining The Washington Times.

At The Times, Mr. Sands has covered numerous beats, including international trade, banking, politics ...

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