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Posted at 8:11 PM ET, 12/13/2010

Michael Steele to run for second term at RNC

By Aaron Blake

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

Steele announced the decision on a conference call with members of the RNC, several of whom confirmed his decision to The Fix.

The embattled chairman had been weighing whether to seek another term after an election cycle in which Republicans made substantial gains but major financial problems beset the committee, 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 one of his potential opponents and a former ally, Wisconsin GOP Chairman Reince Priebus.

The other declared candidates are former RNC official Gentry Collins, who officially got in 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 in January at its winter meeting.

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

By Aaron Blake  | December 13, 2010; 8:11 PM ET
Categories:  Republican Party  
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