RNC challengers coalesce in opposition to Steele
Michael Steele’s chances of holding his current position as Republican National Committee (RNC) chairman for a second term are growing dimmer by the day. One of his prime opponents said that she will not support the current party chairman’s bid even if she must drop out after the initial rounds of voting.
Ann Wagner, one of six candidates seeking the chairmanship of the Republican National Committee, is promising not to support Chairman Michael Steele under any circumstance if she happens to come up short in her bid to lead the organization.
The former Missouri GOP Chairwoman and onetime Ambassador to Luxembourg told CNN Monday that she will “absolutely not” endorse Steele or tell her supporters to do so if she fails to make it to the final round of what is likely to be a multi-ballot election come January.
“I would ask any of the candidates out there to not to move any of their support to Michael Steele, regardless of the outcome of any one individual,” she said.
While affirming that she is “in the race to win it,” Wagner said numerous committee members have, in the course of their conversations, asked her not to back Steele if she fails to advance to the late stages of the election.
“I have made that commitment to many of the men and women who have asked me that,” Wagner said. “They want a new direction, a new leadership. That’s my commitment.”
Wagner’s opposition could be a sign of things to come among the other candidates challenging Steele’s position atop the party. As TAI detailed last week, the other candidates have largely entered the field to pick up the anti-Steele voice of the party.
According to an updated whip count of RNC voting members from the Hotline on Monday, Reince Priebus has opened an even wider lead on Steele. The Wisconsin GOPer has 16 RNC delegates who have publicly pledged their support, compared to only 12 for Steele. Wagner is then tied with former Michigan GOP Chairman Saul Anuzis with 10 delegates each.
[h/t The Corner]