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  Anuzis, Dawson favored to head RNC
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Last EditedCraverguy  Jan 14, 2009 02:37am
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News DateThursday, January 8, 2009 08:00:00 AM UTC0:0
DescriptionIncumbent Mike Duncan probably will get the most first-ballot votes for election as Republican National Committee chairman, but eventual victory likely will go to one of the other two RNC members running for the post in the election scheduled for Jan. 30.

Several members attending a first-ever special meeting of the national committee on Wednesday told The Washington Times that they expect either Michigan party Chairman Saul Anuzis or South Carolina party Chairman Katon Dawson to emerge as the party's top national official.

"I think Duncan wins the first-ballot plurality, but not the next ballots," said Maryland RNC member Joyce Lyons Tehres, who supports former Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele, an accomplished public speaker, for national party chairman. She said she thought Mr. Steele continued to lead the field after the Wednesday meeting, but others saw a trend.

"I sensed it was catching on, the idea that the next chairman should be a member of the committee, not a former member," said Curly Haugland, a North Dakota rancher and committee member.

He was one of the 50 members of the 168-member Republican National Committee spending a cold, dreary day in Washington grilling their national chairman candidates on how to make the old party grand once again.

Those 168 people will vote for one of the six candidates Jan. 30, but in the likely event that nobody wins a majority on the first ballot, the committee members will keep voting until one hopeful does command a majority. The usual course of events is that candidates with no apparent chance at winning then throw their support to others and thus a majority coalition develops.

Several members who initially tagged Mr. Duncan or Mr. Steele as the front-runner changed their minds after all six candidates presented their respective cases and fielded questions on Wednesday, the end of an unprecedented three days of candidate self-advertisement.
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