LIVE from the RNC chair election: Fourth Ballot: Steele drops out, endorses Maria Cino 

National Harbor, MD - A dramatic pause by Michael Steele!  Then asks for the attention for the audience, reverts to his easy charm. Drops out!  Chokes up, reminds the committee that “despite” the challenges his tenure faced, “we won,” the GOP made big gains in Congress, state legislatures in November.  “And now I exit, stage right,” drawing a couple of “standing o’s” in the process.

 
Steele releases supporters and asks them to “stand with me” and support Maria Cino.  
 
FreedomWorks’ national political director, a former Oregon GOP honcho, told me he thinks that the “islands caucus” see Priebus as a “traitor” to Steele and the RNC, when Priebus as RNC general counsel spoke out against Steele’s performance.  If they shift en bloc to Cino, this race stays close.
 
Fourth ballot results:
 
Reince Priebus 58 (+4)
Maria Cino 29 (+1)
Michael Steele 28 (-5)
Ann Wagner 28 (-4)
Saul Anuzis 24 (+3)
1 ballot spoilt
 
So much for a Wagner-Steele deal.  Both candidates took a dive south on the fourth ballot.  Priebus gained four more.  Cino holds and three votes shift to Anuzis.

 

 

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