5 Things You Need to Know About the RNC Chairman's Race

1. FRONT-RUNNER UNDER ATTACK. Wisconsin Republican Party Chairman Reince Priebus has taken a clear lead in his bid to lead the Republican National Committee, as rivals react by questioning his record and his judgment. Priebus has scored 30 public endorsements so far, more than a third of the 85 votes he would need to win the chairmanship outright. Now, RNC members who support other candidates are beginning to launch increasingly public questions about Priebus's tenure as RNC general counsel and his close ties to incumbent Michael Steele. And unlike anonymous attacks that take aim at all the candidates on a daily basis, the shots launched at Priebus are signed by RNC voters. Read more »

2. COLLINS DROPS OUT. Former RNC political director Gentry Collins will end his bid to become the next chairman of the party, he said late Sunday night. Collins, who resigned from his position in November with a letter offering a scathing commentary on Steele's leadership, said he entered the race to provide an alternative to Steele. But the entry of other qualified candidates helped Collins toward an exit. Read more »

3. THE GREAT DEBATE. Collins's departure means Steele will face four candidates as he seeks another two-year term in office. All five candidates -- Steele, Priebus, former Michigan Republican Party chairman Saul Anuzis, former RNC co-chairman Ann Wagner, and former Bush administration official and 2008 Republican convention organizer Maria Cino -- will meet for a debate today at the National Press Club. The debate is being organized by Americans for Tax Reform and the Daily Caller.

4. ALREADY OUT THE DOOR. The top spokesman at the RNC will leave his post just after elections for new officers are held, even if Steele keeps his job. Doug Heye, who has served as communications director since February, will make an official announcement today. He will not immediately announce a new position. It is the latest instance of a senior official at the RNC leaving even before Steele's tenure officially expires -- the RNC has lost two communications directors, a chief of staff, a finance department director, and a political director. Read more »

5. WHIP COUNT. Nearly half the voting members of the Republican National Committee have declared their support for a chairman candidate. Expect several more members to make public their commitments after today's public forum at the National Press Club. So far, at least 76 committee members have publicly said they back a candidate. The standings: Priebus -- 30 votes, Steele -- 15, Wagner -- 12, Anuzis -- 10, Cino -- 6, Collins -- 3. Read more »

Presented by

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well. Bestselling author Mark Bittman teaches James Hamblin the recipe that everyone is Googling.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well.

Video

Before Tinder, a Tree

Looking for your soulmate? Write a letter to the "Bridegroom's Oak" in Germany.

Video

The Health Benefits of Going Outside

People spend too much time indoors. One solution: ecotherapy.

Video

Where High Tech Meets the 1950s

Why did Green Bank, West Virginia, ban wireless signals? For science.

Video

Yes, Quidditch Is Real

How J.K. Rowling's magical sport spread from Hogwarts to college campuses

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

More in Politics

Just In