Still looking for details but…
Former Maryland Lt. Governor Michael Steele has been elected Chairman of the Republican National Committee.
Update: Steele defeated South Carolina Republican Party Chairman Katon Dawson 91-77 in the sixth round of voting to become RNC chairman.
My immediate reaction is this a good day for the Republican party, Steele is terrific communicator and should be an effective advocate for the party’s principles and policy ideas on radio and television .
Update II (5:20 p.m.): Reuters has the details:
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Republican Party picked its first black chairman on Friday as it elected former Maryland Lieutenant Governor Michael Steele to rebuild the party after a string of devastating defeats.
Steele, 50, is regarded within the party as a skilled speaker who can help bring the Republican message to black Americans, Hispanics, suburbanites and other fast-growing groups that have shunned the party in recent years.
Steele has argued that as a high-profile Republican in a heavily Democratic state he knows how to talk to voters outside of the party’s Southern stronghold.
“We’re going to win again in the Northeast,” he told the cheering crowd. “We’re going to continue to win in the South. We’re going to win with a new storm in the Midwest. And when we get to the West, we’re going to lock it down and win there, too.”
As Republican National Committee chairman, Steele will have to find a way to counter Democrat Barack Obama, who was sworn in as the country’s first black president 11 days ago. Read the rest…
Steele won after a highly coordinated yet under-the-radar campaign in which his whip team sought to convince members that the RNC needed to reach out to centrist voters with a new voice.
He hop-scotched the country for months, meeting with members in their home states. At a candidates’ forum Thursday night, Steele said he had raised about $250,000, making the race for RNC chairman likely the most expensive per capita in history.