There are 5 candidates up for the Chair of the RNC. Michael Steele, current Chair of the RNC, Reince Priebus, Wisconsin Republican state Chair, Ann Wagner, former Co Chair of the RNC, Maria Cino, former Deputy chair of the RNC, and Saul Anuzis, former chair of the Michigan Republican party chair.
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Watching the C-span coverage of the RNC winter meetings, which is what they call their biennial election of chair of the RNC.
First round: Michael Steele, current Chair, with 44 votes from a total of 168 votes to be cast. The vote leader is Reince Priebus, who has 45 votes. The other three candidates are at this point also rans. They are far from out of it overall though, there are, after all 85 votes are needed to win the nomination.
2:30 pm Update: second round; Priebus now has 52, Steele 37. Looks like Mikey might lose. Others still also rans, but still relevant.
3:10 pm Update: third round; Priebus 54, Steele 33. Going to a 4th vote. Waiting to see which, if any, of the other 3 candidates will drop out and swing their votes to one of the other candidates. Talk is Michael Steele may drop out. 3rd place finisher Former RNC Co-chair Ann Wagner, who had 32 votes in this round, was seen speaking to Steele, the guess being one will throw their support to the other, but who will do what is still anyone’s guess.
3:40 pm. Update: fourth round; Priebus 58, Cino, 29, Steele 28. Wagner 28, Anuzis 24, One improper vote. Cino picked up a number of votes, and Mike Steele’s vote numbers keep dropping. One wonders how long he’ll hold out.
Anuzis look ready to drop out…
3:50 pm Update: Michael Steele is currently conceding his seat as Chairman of the RNC. He is throwing his weight behind former Deputy chair of the RNC Maria Cino to be the next head of the RNC. Saul Anuzis will be there for the 5th round of votes.
Michael Steele, exit, stage right.
We’ll see what happens, but as things stand, it looks like Reince Priebus will in all likelihood get the nod to be chairman. I am not discounting Maria Cino. Just because Michael Steele backs her and tosses support her way in no way obligates those who voted for him to vote for her.
4:10 pm Update; The crowd looks nervous, pensive, expectant, lots of people on their feet, like they’re expecting a winner this round. Maybe they’re just excited at the prospect of a new RNC chair.
4:15 pm Update; Fifth round; Priebus 67, Cino 40, Anuzis 32, Wagner 28, One improper vote. I was right, Maria Cino only got 11 votes more, and Steele had 28 votes to give.
Someone will have to drop out in order for this to finish in the next round, and I haven’t heard word one about who will drop next. After hearing Anuzis would drop out before the fifth round, I’ve heard nothing about him. Wagner’s vote total hasn’t moved, one expects that if anyone drops out next, it’ll be her, but that is mere speculation on my part, not actual news.
Again the crowd stands, but this time I am seeing more smiling happy faces as the last of this rounds vote are being cast. I am unsure how to read that exactly, one presumes they think a finish to things is close at hand. It is 4:41 pm, around 10 or 15 minutes to next announcement.
4:50 pm Update: Sixth round; Preibus 80 , Anuzis 37, Cino 34 , Wagner 17. Close, but no cigar. With things going as they are, they may not need another person to drop out, with Wagner and Cino both losing a considerable number of votes, they may just keep losing votes as it becomes apparent they can’t win.
At ease for the next few minutes. It is alleged that Speaker Boehner called Michael Steele just before he conceded. Cino is backed by, among others, John Boehner. One wonders what effect that had on his backing of Maria Cino.
4:57 pm Update; Ann Wagner is currently conceding. And is not throwing her weight behind any one candidate. Guess John Boehner didn’t call Ann. 2 down, 3 to go.
The 7th round of voting is under way. No change in the demeanor of the crowd from last round. Seems all over but the shouting at this point, It would surprise me if Reince Priebus didn’t win it this round. But, if he doesn’t, one wonders what effect that’ll have on his ability to garner enough votes to put him over the top in succeeding rounds.
5:20 pm Update: Seventh round; Preibus 97, Anuzis 43, Cino 28. Reince Priebus is the new Chairman of the RNC. The new chair is now speaking. He’s talking of rebuilding the party, he’s thanking every member of the Wisconsin Republican party, and Former Chairman Steele for his leadership. He says the Republican National Committee can defeat Barack Obama. He says he will serve in humility. He is referencing Reagan’s shining city on the hill. He says he will work to earn the trust of the party.