Former Steele Aide Gentry Collins Quits RNC Chairmanship Race

On the eve of Monday’s debate for the chairmanship of the Republican National Committee, one of the candidates has now dropped out: Former RNC political director Gentry Collins who quit his post in November, and publicly attacked incumbent Chairman Michael Steele in a scathing letter.

Collins launched his RNC chair bid shortly afterward, but ultimately garnered the public support of only three committee members so far, out of a pool of 168 voters.[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.

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