The Daily Caller

The Daily Caller

Dick Cheney hosts fundraiser for potential challenger to RNC chairman Michael Steele

It appears that former Vice President Dick Cheney has a favorite candidate to run the Republican National Committee — and it’s not current chairman Michael Steele.

Cheney and others from the Bush White House are hosting a fundraiser next Thursday to benefit former Bush administration official Mario Cino’s potential bid for RNC chairman, CNN’s Peter Hamby reports.

Other hosts of the event include former Bush aides Ed Gillespie and Mary Matalin. The invitation displays a logo that says, “Maria for Chairman.”

Matalin publicly threw her support behind Cino, a long-time friend, during a recent interview with The Daily Caller.

“I don’t know why they aren’t down on their knees drafting her to do this,” Matalin said then.

Cino is a veteran Republican operative whose work has included serving as acting-secretary of the Department of Transportation, deputy chairwoman of the RNC and CEO of the Republican National Convention in 2008

Steele has not publicly said whether he intends to run for re-election.

Those who have announced their candidacies or have been mentioned as possible candidates includes: former Michigan GOP chairman Saul Anuzis; former Missouri committee member Ann Wagner; former Steele aide Gentry Collins;Wisconsin GOP chairman Reince Priebus; former RNC chairman Mike Duncan; former Minnesota Sen. Norm Coleman; and Connecticut GOP chairman Chris Healy.

The Tea Party-affiliated FreedomWorks and a conservative faction within the RNC is hosting a forum Wednesday for possible candidates. The Republican National Conservative Caucus is also holding private interviews with potential candidates Thursday, and it should be clearer after that which potential candidates could mount a serious challenge.