When the Republican National Committee meets in Washington this Friday to elect a chairman, Tennessee will have three voting delegates. They’re united behind one candidate, and it’s not incumbent Michael Steele.
Tennessee’s delegates say their first choice to lead the national GOP is Ann Wagner of Missourri. At a relatively subdued debate last week Wagner stood out by landing a few shots at Steele. Wagner, a one-time party co-chair, also said she owns 16 guns – more than the total of the rest of the field, including Steele, who owns zero.
GOP Chairman Chris Devaney is one of Tennessee’s delegates; he says what stands out to him about Wagner is her fundraising abilities. Devaney says he doesn’t want to disparage Steele’s work, but right now the party is down 20 million dollars.
“Whoever the next chairman is is going to have to raise a considerable amount of money; not only they’re going to have to put to bed the twenty million dollar loan that we have, but also they’re going to have to raise a considerable amount of money for this presidential election.”
Some have argued dumping Steele could leave the Republican Party without a prominent black voice. But Devaney says that’s not the issue right now – the issue is finding the best person for the job.
Depending on how the RNC votes shake out, delegates may have to back a second-choice candidate. Devaney says he hasn’t made up his mind who else he might support.