Republican National Committee

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Republican National Committee
HeadquartersWashington, D.C., U.S.
Key peopleReince Priebus, Chairman
Sharon Day, Co-Chairman
Tony Parker Treasurer
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Republican National Committee
HeadquartersWashington, D.C., U.S.
Key peopleReince Priebus, Chairman
Sharon Day, Co-Chairman
Tony Parker Treasurer

The Republican National Committee (RNC) is a U.S. political committee that provides national leadership for the Republican Party of the United States. It is responsible for developing and promoting the Republican political platform, as well as coordinating fundraising and election strategy. It is also responsible for organizing and running the Republican National Convention. Similar committees exist in every U.S. state and most U.S. counties, although in some states party organization is structured by congressional district, allied campaign organizations being governed by a national committee. Reince Priebus is the current RNC Chairman.

The RNC's main counterpart is the Democratic National Committee.



The 1856 Republican National Convention appointed the first RNC. It consisted of one member from each state and territory to serve for four years. Each national convention since then has followed the precedent of equal representation for each state or territory, regardless of population. From 1924 to 1952, there was a national committeeman and national committeewoman from each state and U.S. possession, and from Washington, D.C.. In 1952, committee membership was expanded to include the state party chairs of states that voted Republican in the preceding presidential election, have a Republican majority in their congressional delegation (U.S. representatives and senators), or have Republican governors. By 1968, membership reached 145. As of 2011, the RNC has 168 members.[1]

The only person to have chaired the RNC and later become U.S. president is George H.W. Bush. A number of the chairs of the RNC have been state governors.

Chairmen of the Republican National Committee

1Edwin Denison Morgan1856–1864New York
2Henry Jarvis Raymond1864–1866New York
3Marcus Lawrence Ward1866–1868New Jersey
4William Claflin1868–1872Massachusetts
5Edwin Denison Morgan1872–1876New YorkSecond term
6Zachariah Chandler1876–1879Michigan
7James Donald Cameron1879–1880Pennsylvania
8Marshall Jewell1880–1883Connecticut
9Dwight M. Sabin1883–1884Minnesota
10Benjamin Franklin Jones1884–1888New Jersey
11Matthew Stanley Quay1888–1891Pennsylvania
12James S. Clarkson1891–1892Iowa
13William J. Campbell1892IllinoisElected June 1892, Declined July 1892 was Lieutenant Governor of Illinois) [4]
14Thomas H. Carter1892–1896MontanaElected in place of W.J. Campbell in July 1892
15Marcus A. Hanna1896–1904Ohio
16Henry Clay Payne1904Wisconsin
17George Bruce Cortelyou1904–1907New York
18Harry S. New1907–1908Indiana
19Frank Harris Hitchcock1908–1909Ohio
20John Fremont Hill1909–1912Maine
21Victor Rosewater1912Nebraska
22Charles D. Hilles1912–1916New York
23William R. Wilcox1916–1918New York
24Will H. Hays1918–1921Indiana
25John T. Adams1921–1924Iowa
26William M. Butler1924–1928Massachusetts
27Hubert Work1928–1929Colorado
28Claudius H. Huston1929–1930TennesseeFirst Southerner to be elected chairman
29Simeon Davison Fess1930-1932Ohio
30Everett Sanders1932–1934Indiana
31Henry P. Fletcher1934–1936Pennsylvania
32John D. M. Hamilton1936–1940Kansas
33Joseph W. Martin, Jr.1940–1942MassachusettsSpeaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, 1947–49 & 1953–55
34Harrison E. Spangler1942–1944Iowa
35Herbert Brownell, Jr.1944–1946New York
36Carroll Reece1946–1948Tennessee
37Hugh D. Scott, Jr.1948–1949Pennsylvania
38Guy G. Gabrielson1949–1952New Jersey
39Arthur E. Summerfield1952–1953Michigan
40Wesley Roberts1953Kansas
41Leonard W. Hall1953–1957New York
42Meade Alcorn1957–1959Connecticut
43Thruston B. Morton1959–1961Kentucky
44William E. Miller1961–1964New YorkParty's 1964 candidate for Vice President
45Dean Burch1964–1965Arizona
46Ray C. Bliss1965–1969Ohio
47Rogers C. B. Morton1969–1971Maryland
48Robert Dole1971–1973KansasParty's candidate for Vice President (1976) and President (1996)
49George H. W. Bush1973–1974Texas41st President of the United States (1989–1993)
50Mary Louise Smith1974–1977IowaOnly woman to become RNC chairperson.
51William E. Brock III1977–1981Tennessee
52Richard Richards1981–1983Utah
53Frank J. Fahrenkopf, Jr.1983–1989NevadaPaul Laxalt served as general chairman from 1983–1987.
Betty Heitman served as co-chair from 1983–1987
Maureen Reagan served as co-chair from 1987–1989.
54Lee Atwater1989–1991South Carolina
55Clayton Keith Yeutter1991–1992Nebraska
56Richard Bond1992–1993Missouri
57Haley Barbour1993–1997Mississippi
58Jim Nicholson1997–2001Colorado
59Jim Gilmore2001–2002Virginia
60Marc Racicot2002–2003Montana
61Ed Gillespie2003–2005Virginia
62Ken Mehlman2005–2007Washington, D.C.Stepped down at end of 2006
63Mel Martinez2007FloridaServed with Mike Duncan as general chairman.
63Mike Duncan2007–2009KentuckySenator Mel Martinez served with Duncan as general chairman before stepping down in October 2007.
64Michael Steele2009–2011MarylandOnly African-American Chairman.
Jan Larimer served as co-chair.
65Reince Priebus2011–presentWisconsinSharon Day serves as co-chair.

Chairman elections

1993 RNC Chairman election

CandidateRound 1Round 2Round 3
Haley Barbour606690
Spence Abraham475257
Bo Callaway221918
John Ashcroft2620Withdrew
Craig Berkman108Withdrew
     Candidate won majority of votes in the round
     Candidate secured a plurality of votes in the round
     Candidate withdrew

1997 RNC Chairman election

CandidateRound 1Round 2Round 3Round 4Round 5Round 6
Jim Nicholson2330386574*
David Norcross4146475047Withdrew
Steve Merrill4242434643Withdrew
John S. Herrington4433Withdrew
Tom Pauken222421Withdrew
Chuck Yob171812Withdrew
Bob Bennett15Withdrew
     Candidate won majority of votes in the round
     Candidate secured a plurality of votes in the round
     Candidate withdrew

2009 RNC Chairman election

On November 24, 2008 Steele launched his campaign for the RNC chairmanship with the launching of his website.[5] On January 30, 2009, Steele won the chairmanship of the RNC in the sixth round, with 91 votes to Dawson's 77.[6]

Source: CQPolitics,[7] and Poll Pundit.[8]

CandidateRound 1Round 2Round 3Round 4Round 5Round 6
Michael Steele464851607991
Katon Dawson282934626977
Saul Anuzis2224243120Withdrew
Ken Blackwell20191515Withdrew
Mike Duncan524844Withdrew
     Candidate won majority of votes in the round
     Candidate secured a plurality of votes in the round
     Candidate withdrew

On announcing his candidacy to succeed RNC Chairman Duncan, former Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele described the party as being at a crossroads and not knowing what to do. "I think I may have some keys to open the door, some juice to turn on the lights," he said.[9]

Six men ran for the 2009 RNC Chairmanship: Steele, Ken Blackwell, Mike Duncan, Saul Anuzis, Katon Dawson and Chip Saltsman. After Saltsman's withdrawal, there were only five candidates during the hotly-contested balloting January 30, 2009.

After the third round of balloting that day, Steele held a small lead over incumbent Mike Duncan of Kentucky, with 51 votes to Duncan's 44. Shortly after the announcement of the standings, Duncan dropped out of contention without endorsing a candidate.[10] Ken Blackwell, the only other African-American candidate, dropped out after the fourth ballot and endorsed Steele, though Blackwell had been the most socially conservative of the candidates and Steele had been accused of not being "sufficiently conservative." Steele picked up Blackwell's votes.[11] After the fifth round, Steele held a ten vote lead over Katon Dawson, with 79 votes, and Saul Anuzis dropped out.[12] After the sixth vote, he won the chairmanship of the RNC over Dawson by a vote of 91 to 77.[13]

Mississippi Governor and former RNC chair Haley Barbour has suggested the party will focus its efforts on congressional and gubernatorial elections in the coming years rather than the next presidential election. "When I was chairman of the Republican National Committee the last time we lost the White House in 1992 we focused exclusively on 1993 and 1994. And at the end of that time, we had both houses of Congress with Republican majorities, and we’d gone from 17 Republican governors to 31. So anyone talking about 2012 today doesn’t have their eye on the ball. What we ought to worry about is rebuilding our party over the next year and particularly in 2010,” Barbour said at the November 2008 Republican Governors conference.[14]

2011 RNC Chairman election

Michael Steele ran for re-election at the 2011 RNC winter meeting.[15] Other candidates were Reince Priebus, Republican Party of Wisconsin Chairman, Ann Wagner, former Ambassador to Luxembourg, Saul Anuzis, former Republican Party Chairman of Michigan, and Maria Cino, former acting Secretary of Transportation under George W. Bush. Steele's critics increasingly called on him to step down as RNC Chair when his term ended in 2011. A debate for Chairman hosted by Americans for Tax Reform took place on January 3 at the National Press Club. [16][17] The election for Chairman took place January 14 at the RNC's winter meeting with Reince Priebus winning on the seventh ballot after Steele and Wagner withdrew.

CandidateRound 1Round 2Round 3Round 4Round 5Round 6Round 7
Reince Priebus45525458678097
Saul Anuzis24222124323743
Maria Cino32302829403428
Ann Wagner232732282817Withdrew
Michael Steele44373328Withdrew
     Candidate won majority of votes in the round
     Candidate secured a plurality of votes in the round
     Candidate withdrew

Leadership and staff

Sharon Day is the current RNC Co-Chairman. [18] Mary Heitman is the current Finance Director.[19] Angela Sailor is the current Director of Coalitions. [20] The communications staff is led by communications director Sean Spicer, press secretary Kirsten Kukowski and deputy communications director Tyler Brown, and added two new regional press secretaries and a new specialty media press secretary in mid-2011.[21]

See also


  1. ^ Fox
  2. ^ The Political Graveyard web site, A Database of Historic Cemeteries, accessed July 17, 2006.
  3. ^ "U.S. government departments and offices, etc.". B. Schemmel. Retrieved January 30, 2009. 
  4. ^ "Campbell To Succeed Himself. He Will Probably Be National Committeeman from Illinois Again.". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2012-09-30. "William J. Campbell of Chicago will succeed himself as the representative of Illinois on the National Republican committee. Mr. Campbell says he does not want the office and that he will make no effort for it, but he will be elected with few if any dissenting votes..." 
  5. ^ Reiter, Daniel. "Steele Website Goes Live". [dead link]
  6. ^ Burns, Alexander (2009-01-30). "It's Steele!". The Politico. Retrieved 2009-01-30. 
  7. ^ "Republican Choose Michael Steele as Party Chairman". CQ Politics. January 30, 2009. 
  8. ^ "RNC Chairman Vote: Live Coverage". January 30, 2009. 
  9. ^ Cillizza, Chris (November 13, 2008). "Michael Steele to Run For RNC Chair". The Fix. The Washington Post. Retrieved February 12, 2009. 
  10. ^ Armbinder, Mark. RNC Chairman Duncan Drops Re-Election Bid, January 30, 2009, The Atlantic.
  11. ^ Cillizza, Chris. Steele Elected RNC Chair, January 30, 2009, Washington Post.
  12. ^ Hamby, Peter. BREAKING: Steele picked to lead RNC, January 30, 2009, CNN Political Ticker.
  13. ^ Burns, Alexander (January 30, 2009). "It's Steele!". The Politico. Retrieved January 30, 2009. 
  14. ^ York, Byron (November 13, 2008). "Palin, the Governors, and the New Power in the Republican Party". National Review Online. Retrieved February 12, 2009. 
  15. ^ Sources Say Steele Will Seek Second Term As RNC Chair
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^ Trygstad, Kyle, "RNC Beefs Up Communications Team", Roll Call, June 7, 2011, 11:57 a.m. EDT. Retrieved 2011-06-07.

External links