Breaking: Michael Steele To Run For 2nd Term As RNC Chairman …Update: Steele Releases Statement — Plays Race Card

He’s in!

(nj.com)

Neil Cavuto announced that Michael Steele will run again as Republican National Committee Chairman.
FOX News reported:

Controversial Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele, who last month presided over the GOP’s biggest electoral gains since 1938, will announce tonight that he is running for re-election, Fox News has learned from two RNC members.

Ending weeks of rumors that he would not seek a second term, Steele plans to throw his hat into the ring during a conference call with RNC members at 7:30 p.m. ET, the sources said. Steele is said to be amused by false reports of his retirement and intentionally kept his plans secret for the last month in order to flush out competitors for the post, Fox has learned.

During Steele’s tenure, Republicans picked up 63 House seats in last month’s elections, the biggest gain in more than seven decades. But Steele has been dogged by criticism from some Republicans who see him as prone to missteps.

Criticism of Steele has helped lead to a crowded field of challengers seeking to head the RNC.

Related… Michael Steele’s tenure as RNC chairman marked by gaffes, disappointment.

UPDATE: Michael Steele released this statement this evening:

I want to sincerely thank each of you for giving me the opportunity to work with all of you over the past two years. I consider it a privilege and an honor.

Through your efforts, we have made historic contributions to the party and our country. We have done this in a bold way. But as you each know, now the stakes are higher, the work becomes harder and our commitment to complete the job—to ensure that Obama is a one term President—becomes more important.
The 2009 – 2010 cycle allowed us to chart the course and succeed in a new political environment.

This new political environment included challenges like President Obama’s stimulus package, a democrat controlled congress, a bogus reform of our nation’s health care system, a recession, a demoralized American public, and unfair federal election laws.

However, I hope each of you appreciate that while we began this cycle bowed, we ended stronger, better and prouder.

Thanks to you and the American People, 2010 was a watershed year for Republicans and our conservative limited government movement. We elected 63 new members to take control of the House and 13 new Senators setting the stage for Senate control in 2012 and more than 690 new state legislators — more than ever before.

We achieved that in part because we adhered to two important principles: consistency and inclusion. Today members of the republican national committee govern themselves versus being ruled by a small cliquish elite. Together, we have laid the ground game for—as you’ve heard me say before—“turning the elephant” and now we must build the framework for winning the White House.
Our goal is clear: 270 electoral votes in 2012!

We fired Pelosi so let’s increase our resources and strength to take back the senate, elect new governors and a principled republican leader to serve as President of the United States. United, we will make a difference for America’s future. You and i already know that.

The path to 2012 and 270 electoral votes requires leadership.

More… Ugh. Steele played the race card on his conference call tonight.
“This (race) will show if we are truly the party of Lincoln.”

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