Steele’s Former Political Director To Challenge Him For Chair

November 23, 2010 11:00 a.m.

Gentry Collins, the former Republican National Committe political director who ripped RNC chair Michael Steele in his resignation letter Nov. 16, is jumping into the race to replace Steele.

ABC News reports that Collins “has taken the first step toward running for RNC Chairman, filing papers with the IRS to create a 527 fund-raising committee called ‘Collins for Chairman.'”

Collins’ entry to the race brings the grand total of potential RNC chair candidates to, well, a whole heck of a lot. Just yesterday, two prominent insider GOP women got in the race and former Michigan GOP chair Saul Anuzis is already out there running hard. Add to that list the half a dozen or so other names being floated as possible RNC candidates and you’ve got a race that could be extremely unpredictable.Steele has not announced whether he’ll be running again or not, but most expect him to try for a second term as chair of the RNC. Collins made Steele’s already tough road to reelection even tougher with his resignation letter, which slammed Steele’s leadership as leaving the party deeply in debt and without the resources to help House Republican candidates in more than a dozen tough races.

Steele rejected that claim in a recent memo, in which he told the RNC’s 168 members that if it wasn’t for the warm embrace he offered the tea party last year, the GOP could have been torn apart by the angry conservative insurgency.

The RNC had no comment when I asked about Collins’ run to unseat Steele.

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