S.C. Republican Chair to Join RNC Race

South Carolina Republican Party Chair Katon Dawson, one of the highest-profile Republican state leaders, told the Associated Press Sunday he will seek the chairmanship of the Republican National Committee.

Dawson intends to announce his bid on Fox News Channel Monday, according to the South Carolina political website Palmetto Scoop.

The South Carolinian, who recently hosted a conference in Myrtle Beach to discuss the future of the Republican Party, has been reaching out to his fellow party chairs for some time now. Since November 4, numerous state party chairs have told Politico that Dawson had reached out to them as part of an all-but-declared campaign for the party chairmanship.

Dawson told AP that he was concerned about the future of the Republican Party in areas in once-competitive regions of the country.

“I certainly am concerned with the Northeast states as much as I am the Midwest,” Dawson told the wire service over the weekend.

When Dawson officially jumps into the race, he will join two other serious declared contenders: Michigan Republican Party Chair Saul Anuzis and former Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele, who currently heads up the conservative group GOPAC.

Several other party leaders are looking at the race, including Florida Republican Party Chair Jim Greer, who told Politico last week he would decide on a bid over the coming weeks, depending on what he hears from the other declared candidates.

“I want to take a look at it. I’ve gotten calls and I believe I have support on the RNC if I ran,” Greer said last week. “We need a visionary. We need a decisive leader. And I’m hoping someone will come forward, if they already haven’t, and be able to express that view.”

The current RNC chairman, Kentucky’s Mike Duncan, is currently reaching out to state chairs to gauge support for a possible bid for reelection. On Monday Duncan will be in Georgia to campaign for Sen. Saxby Chambliss in his runoff election against Democrat Jim Martin.

A Republican source said last week Duncan’s decision about seeking another term would likely come after Republicans “get a more definitive answer” on the outstanding Senate races in Georgia and Minnesota, where Sen. Norm Coleman and his challenger, Al Franken, are locked in a contentious recount dispute.

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