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RNC Chairman Reince Priebus. Photo: AP. RNC Chairman Reince Priebus. Photo: AP.  

RNC chairman Reince Priebus to decide soon on re-election

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Alex Pappas
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      Alex Pappas

      Alex Pappas is a Washington D.C.-based political reporter for The Daily Caller. He has also written for The Washington Examiner and the Mobile Press-Register. Pappas is a graduate of The University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn., where he was editor-in-chief of The Sewanee Purple. While in college, he did internships at NBC's Meet the Press and the White House. He grew up in Mobile, Ala., where he graduated from St. Paul's Episcopal School. He and his wife live on Capitol Hill.

Reince Priebus told The Daily Caller on Thursday that he intends to decide soon if he’ll run for another term as chairman of the Republican National Committee.

“Just spending a few days with the family and will likely make a decision within a week or two,” Priebus told TheDC by email.

Interviews with Republicans on Thursday indicate that Priebus has widespread support among members of the committee for another two-year term if he decides to run.

“I hope he would do it for love of our country and this party,” said Solomon Yue, a national committeeman from Oregon. “If he decides to run, I would support him 110 percent.”

“If he runs again, I don’t think he would have any serious opposition,” said Henry Barbour, the Mississippi committeeman who helped run Priebus’ campaign for chairman in 2011.

“I think if he decides to run, he’ll get re-elected,” said Saul Anuzis, the former chairman of the Michigan Republican Party who ran twice for national chairman. “He is well liked by the members and did what folks expected from the RNC. I have not heard of anyone else angling or considering running against him.”

Had he won the presidential race, Mitt Romney would’ve been expected to handpick a chairman. Since Romney lost, the members of the Republican National Committee will convene in January to choose someone to lead the committee for the next two years.

“He has not made his decision for re-election yet,” Yue said. “I understand he needs time to think it through and talk to his family.”

Priebus was elected to the post in 2011 by defeating Chairman Michael Steele amid criticism of Steele’s leadership and spending practices at the committee.

“He inherited a mess at the RNC,” Barbour said of Priebus. “The donors were upset. We were broke. We were in about a $25 million hole. And he was able to turn all of that around and go out and really establish himself as a strong spokesman for our party.”

Barbour, the nephew of former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, argued that Priebus has been an effective chairman despite Republican losses at the polls on Tuesday.

“I don’t think the reason we lost was that the RNC didn’t do its job,” the Mississippi Republican said. “We provided record fundraising, really strong staff, great research and details that were helpful to the campaign.”

Gentry Collins, the former RNC political director who unsuccessfully ran for chairman in 2011, said that if “Reince wants a second term, he should get it.”

“I think Reince did a great deal to put the party back on track financially,” he said in an email. “And I think some of the tactical weakness that showed on election night could have been much worse if he hadn’t performed as well as he did to get us back on financial track.”

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