Republicans Choose Black Chairman | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Republicans Choose Black Chairman

The New York Times is reporting:

Michael Steele, the former lieutenant governor of Maryland, was elected the chairman of the Republican National Committee on Friday as the party chose its first African-American leader in a vote that signaled a desire by Republican leaders to put a new face on an embattled party. Mr. Steele was elected in a contest that took six drawn-out ballots before any of the candidates received the required 85 votes. In the final ballot, he defeated Katon Dawson, the South Carolina Republican chairman, drawing 91 of the 165 votes/

From the start, Mr. Dawson, while well-liked in the party, was hampered by worries that his selection would reinforce the notion that Republicans are increasingly becoming a Southern regional party. Mr. Dawson also withdrew from an all-white country club he belonged before he started running for office, a point that was raised by Republicans concerned that it would provide a bad contrast in a year when the country elected its first African-American president.

Mr. Steele also represented an important break for Republicans for another reason: He was one of two outsiders — non-members of the committee — running to be its leader. Historically, the party typically chooses members to be its leaders.

Mr. Steele accepted the selection after a prolonged standing ovation from members who were clearly tired after five hours of voting.

Previous Comments


This should be fun.


Support our reporting -- Follow the MFP.