Michael Steele elected Chairman of the Republican Party
Michael Steele has just been elected Chairman of the Republican Party. This blog is pleased with this result and has supported Steele’s candidacy since the beginning. A simple majority (85) of the 168 votes was needed to win.
Mike Duncan, who President Bush tapped to head the party, bowed out after the third ballot.
Steele had 51 votes after the third round, having increased his support in each round. After four rounds Steele had 60 votes, trailing only South Carolina party chairman Katon Dawson, who had 62. Just before the fifth ballot former Ohio Secretary of State and gubernatorial candidate Ken Blackwell dropped out and endorsed Steele. In that round of voting Steele captured 79 votes, just six shy of being elected in the then three person field; Dawson had 59. The sixth round was down to just Steele and Dawson, Michigan GOP Chairman Saul Anuzis having dropped out after the fifth ballot. In that final round, Steele got 91 votes fo Dawson’s 77.
Mr. Steele is well qualified to lead the U.S. Republican Party. He was Chairman of Maryland’s Republican Party before serving as Lt. Governor of that state from 2003-2007. He was the failed U.S. Senate candidate in Maryland in 2006, doing better than expected in a poor year for Republicans and in a heavily Democratic state. Since then he has been chairman of GOPAC, which raises funds and supports Republican candidates at the state and local level. He is familiar with the national media and talk show circuit and is an excellent communicator; Slate was right when they called him the best speaker among all the chairman candidates.
Not only is the President of the United States now an African American, but so is the Chairman of the Republican National Committee. How about that? Steele is the first black person to hold said post.
Steele, age 50, is a lawyer by training, though he spent three years as a Roman Catholic seminarian and considered taking holy orders. See his Wikipedia article (which, incidentally, I started) for more information about him. This blog wishes Mr. Steele all the best as he leads the Republican Party for the next two years.