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Steele will seek another term as RNC chair

By Aaron Blake
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, December 13, 2010; 9:03 PM

Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele announced Monday night that he will seek another term as head of the committee next month.

Steele made his announcement during a conference call with members of the RNC, several of whom privately confirmed his comments.

The embattled chairman had been weighing whether to seek another term after an election cycle in which Republicans made substantial gains but the committee encountered major financial problems, leaving it unable to fully fund its usually formidable get-out-the-vote operation. The committee also enters the 2012 campaign - where it will play a prominent role in backing a presidential nominee - in significant debt.

Five candidates had already announced their intention to run, regardless of Steele's decision. All of them have emphasized their ability to put the committee's finances into order, and many have indirectly alluded to the problems facing the RNC.

Steele recently saw several of his his top supporters jump on board with a former ally who is one of his potential opponents, Wisconsin GOP Chairman Reince Priebus.

The other declared candidates are former RNC official Gentry Collins, who officially got into the race Monday, former RNC co-chairwoman Ann Wagner, former Michigan GOP Chairman Saul Anuzis and former RNC official Maria Cino.

The 168-member RNC will choose its next chairman at its winter meeting in January.

Even though he is sitting chairman, Steele appears to face an uphill battle. A multi-ballot process means he will need to obtain at least half the vote eventually.

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