Other News...
sponsored by Richardson Repair & A-Plus Flooring

Republicans seek new chairman to lead revival

Send a link to a friend

[January 30, 2009]  WASHINGTON (AP) -- Republicans are looking for a national party chairman to lead a GOP rebirth after losing control of Congress and the White House in back-to-back elections.

Their choice when they vote Friday was to give former President George W. Bush's hand-picked party chief, Mike Duncan, a shot at turning around the Republican Party by re-electing him to a second-two year term or choosing a fresh face from one of his four challengers.

InsuranceNo one was expected to get the required majority of the votes on the first balloting by the 168-member Republican National Committee.

Those challenging Duncan are former Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele, former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, South Carolina GOP Chairman Katon Dawson and Michigan GOP Chairman Saul Anuzis.

A fifth -- former Tennessee GOP Chairman Chip Saltsman -- dropped out of the race on Thursday with little explanation, saying only in a letter to RNC members: "I have decided to withdraw my candidacy."

Saltsman, who ran former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee's failed presidential campaign last year, was considered a long-shot candidate who several Republican officials said likely wouldn't have had enough support even to be formally nominated had he continued his bid.

It faltered in December after he drew controversy for mailing a 41-track CD to committee members that included a song titled "Barack the Magic Negro" by conservative comedian Paul Shanklin and sung to the music of "Puff, the Magic Dragon." Despite criticism, Saltsman didn't apologize and defended the tune as one of several "lighthearted political parodies" that have aired on Rush Limbaugh's radio show.


All of Duncan's challengers have spent the past few months arguing that he simply represents a continuation of Bush; Duncan has said he has the experience to make necessary changes.

Republicans say Duncan leads in endorsements for a second two-year term, with Steele, Dawson and Anuzis in competitive positions, while Blackwell trails.

Still, with at least two rounds of balloting expected, it's possible anyone could end up with a majority.

[to top of second column]

Just eight years after Republicans controlled both the White House and Congress, the GOP finds itself out of power and trying to figure out how to rebound while its foe seems to grow ever stronger. The Democratic Party is empowered by a broadened coalition of voters -- including Hispanics and young voters -- who swung behind President Barack Obama's call for change.

Meanwhile, Bush left the White House with bottom-of-the-barrel job approval ratings, Republicans saw their ranks in Congress grow even smaller and the party finds itself without a standard-bearer.

Perhaps even more damaging to the GOP, the slice of the country that calls itself Republican has shrunk over the past few years as Obama and his Democrats attracted voters of all political stripes.


On the Net:

Republican National Committee: http://www.rnc.org/

[Associated Press; By LIZ SIDOTI]

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

< Top Stories index

Back to top


News | Sports | Business | Rural Review | Teaching & Learning | Home and Family | Tourism | Obituaries

Community | Perspectives | Law & Courts | Leisure Time | Spiritual Life | Health & Fitness | Teen Scene
Calendar | Letters to the Editor