J.C. Watts being ‘encouraged’ to run for RNC chairman

Former congressman J.C. Watts (R-Okla.).


Former Oklahoma Rep. J.C. Watts tells Politico that he's being "encouraged" to run for Republican National Committee chairman.

 He did not criticize the current chairman, Reince Priebus, who plans to run again. But Watts, who is black, told the paper the party needs to reach out to African-Americans in a sustained, serious way.

"For the first time since I’ve been a Republican in 1989, I can’t tell you who is in charge of trying to establish deeper relationships with non-traditional constituencies, especially in that black space at the RNC," he said. "I have no clue who it is.”

Watts, who served from 1995 to 2003, joined the investment firm Farragut Capital Partners in 2011. 

An upset in the chairman's race is unlikely. When announcing his intention to run for chairman again, Priebus declared that he already had far more votes from RNC members than he needed. 

Rachel Weiner covers local politics for The Washington Post.
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Rachel Weiner · December 3, 2012