GOP committee battle: Steele to reveal whether he wants top job

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Washington, Dec.13 (ANI): The battle for control of the Republican National Committee will take a new turn on Monday when Michael Steele is set to announce whether he will step down as party chairman or disregard the onslaught of criticism about his leadership and seek a second term.

According to the New York Times, Steele is expected to disclose his intentions in a conference call with committee members on Monday evening.

He has lost the backing of many top supporters, and a coordinated effort to replace him has been under way for weeks.

Several leading Republicans have argued that the committee urgently needs to improve its fund-raising and tighten its structure to prepare for the 2012 election.

At least six top Republicans have taken steps to run for party chairman, and the committee's political director, who resigned in protest of Mr. Steele's leadership last month, is also vying for the job.

As a result, many party leaders have concluded that Mr. Steele will not seek re-election.

The 168-member committee will elect a chairman during its meeting in January.

Reince Preibus, chairman of the Wisconsin Republican Party; Ann Wagner of Missouri, who served as ambassador to Luxembourg during President George W. Bush's administration; Maria Cino, a political strategist who has the support of former Vice President Dick Cheney; Saul Anuzis, a former party chairman in Michigan; and Gentry Collins, who resigned last month as the committee's political director, and former party chairman, Mike Duncan, are in the running for the post. (ANI)

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