Steele wins RNC chair
Former Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele has just been elected chairman of the Republican National Committee, beating South Carolina Republican Chairman Katon Dawson 91-77 in the sixth round of voting.
Steele becomes the party's first black chairman.
The election turned into an outsider-insider contest, with Steele attempting to buck tradition by defeating a sitting member of the Republican National Committee. The Marylander served on the panel in the early part of this decade, when he was chairman of the state Republican party, but is no longer active.
He faced an uphill challenge against Dawson, who pulled ahead on the fourth ballot for the first time.
Mike Duncan of Kentucky, the incumbent chairman, led in the first round but faded after it became clear that he could not gain the 85 votes needed to win. He withdrew after the third round but did not publicly endorse a successor.
"Obviously the winds of change are blowing at the RNC," said Duncan, who has served on the committee for 17 years.
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