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Posted at 10:10 AM ET, 12/28/2010

Michael Steele to attend RNC chairman debate in January

By Felicia Sonmez

Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele has confirmed that he will attend an early January debate, putting the embattled chairman on track for his first public face-off with his rivals as he pursues a second term at the helm of the committee.

All of the announced candidates in the race, including Wisconsin Republican Party Chairman Reince Priebus, former Michigan Republican Party chairman Saul Anuzis, former RNC official Maria Cino, former RNC political director Gentry Collins and former ambassador to Luxembourg Ann Wagner, are also slated to attend the Jan. 3 debate, which will be held at the National Press Club.

The conservative Daily Caller website had previously announced that it would sponsor the debate along with the anti-tax organization Americans for Tax Reform and the anti-abortion group Susan B. Anthony List. But Steele's attendance had been an open question; he declined to participate last month in an RNC debate sponsored by the conservative group FreedomWorks, which was held before he formally announced that he is seeking a second term at the committee.

The announcement comes as Steele's rivals are ramping up their bids to succeed him. Priebus announced late Sunday that he has won the backing of California Republican National Committeeman Shawn Steel, who was once a staunch Steele supporter.

By Felicia Sonmez  | December 28, 2010; 10:10 AM ET
Categories:  Republican Party  
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