In it, but not of it. TPM DC

Former Steele Aide Gentry Collins Quits RNC Chairmanship Race

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Newscom

[TPM SLIDESHOW: Michael Steele's Summer Vacation: Elect Republicans, Then Reelect Me!]

In quitting the race, though, Collins did take some satisfaction from having wounded Steele. As Politico reports, after having interviewed him:

Collins, however, said he didn't regret his decision to quit in such spectacular fashion.

"There were not many members who had seen what I had seen at the committee," he told POLITICO. "If that had a cost, it had a cost."

He added: "For the members that questioned what my motivations were, this is a way of proving my sincerity so it can't be perceived as helping me as a candidate."

In addition, he did not endorse any of the remaining candidates, declaring: "I think any of the candidates would constitute a serious improvement over Chairman Steele's leadership of the committee."

Wisconsin GOP Chairman Reince Priebus, a former Steele ally, has emerged as the frontrunner in what could still potentially be a multi-ballot contest, to take place on January 20.