WASHINGTON – Former Michigan Republican Party Chairman Saul Anuzis is running for a second time to be chairman of the Republican National Committee.
Anuzis, 51, lost a bid to become RNC chairman in 2009, when former Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele won the balloting. Steele, the RNC’s first African-American chair, has been a lightning rod for controversy during his term. He is thought to be interested in a second two-year term.
Steele can count the recent elections – in which Republicans regained a majority in the House of Representatives – as a victory. Still, Republicans are thought to be talking behind the scenes about possible replacements, and the job is expected to be discussed at this week’s winter meeting of the Republican Governors Association.
In a letter Friday to party leaders across the country, Anuzis said, “I don’t take lightly the fact that I am challenging a friend and colleague for the chairmanship,” meaning Steele.
“But the simple fact,” he said, “is that the overriding challenge we face is winning back the presidency in 2012, and we will not accomplish that objective unless there is a dramatic change in the way the RNC does business.”
Noting that Republican gains in Congress in 1994 did not prevent Democratic President Bill Clinton from being re-elected in 1996, Anuzis said, “We can’t rely on our wins in 2010 to carry us to success in 2012.”
The election for the chair is set to take place in January.