Steele Ally Jumps Ship

November 17th, 2010 at 8:30 pm | 5 Comments |

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One of RNC Chairman Michael Steele’s closest allies, Illinois state chair Pat Brady, told FrumForum that he would not be supporting Steele for reelection, and that former Missouri state chair Ann Wagner and Wisconsin state chair Reince Priebus had talked to him about potential bids to replace Steele.

“Michael Steele is a good man, but it’s time for a change,” Pat Brady told FrumForum. “I talked to him most recently last week, but – I think it’s time for someone else.”

Brady has long been a supporter of Michael Steele’s tenure as Chairman, and was one of the first to endorse his candidacy in the last Chairman’s race. “If Illinois is my barometer, then he’s been tremendously successful,” he had said of Steele’s performance back in September. Just a month ago, on October 14th and 15th, Brady had joined Steele at four ‘victory rallies’ during the Fire Pelosi bus tour.

Brady told FrumForum that his decision to withdraw support from Steele did not come lightly, but that he came to this conclusion after the resignation of Gentry Collins, the RNC’s well-respected political director. Collins resigned Tuesday with a scathing resignation letter criticizing Chairman Steele’s management of the Republican body.

“It was not a snap decision, it’s a series of things over time,” said Brady, “It’s, well, this was sort of like saying ‘this is the last straw’. I know Gentry well, and I have a lot of respect for him as a political operative. His resignation was a part of my decision.” Brady also mentioned that he had not heard the rumors that Gentry Collins would jump into the RNC Chair race.

Asked if he has a favorite in the RNC Chair race, Brady told FrumForum, “I have not decided yet.” However, the one announced candidate in the race, Saul Anuzis, has given him a call. “He is the only declared challenger in the race, and he has called me and asked for my support,” said the Illinois Chairman.

Chairman Pat Brady also mentioned that Ann Wagner, a potential RNC Chair candidate and the former head of the Missouri Republican Party, had reached out to him, but that they had not yet been able to get in touch. Maria Cino, who has served as the RNC’s deputy chairman in the past and is considered another potential RNC Chair candidate, has not yet asked for his support.

On the other hand, Pat Brady said that he has been in touch with Wisconsin Republican Chair Reince Priebus about a potential bid for RNC Chair. “Reince is a good friend, and we’re in touch all the time, but I don’t think he’s made his decision,” said Brady. “If he runs, I will fully support Reince.”

“I don’t know [if he will run],” continued Brady. “He’s got to go home and ask his wife, like all of us! I think he’d be good, but that’s a decision he has to make.

Brady’s decision to rescind his prior support for Steele further weakens the RNC Chairman’s reelection hopes. Michael Steele has not yet made an announcement declaring his candidacy in the race, but as FrumForum previously reported, it is unlikely that he will do so until around Thanksgiving.



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