Politics

Black RNC member pours cold water on J.C. Watts candidacy

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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.

Former Republican Rep. J.C. Watts says he’s being encouraged to run for chairman of the Republican National Committee to help the GOP appeal to minorities.

But a prominent black national committeeman is throwing cold water on that idea.

“Having a person of color at the helm is not a silver bullet to increasing diversity in our party; we have been there and done that,” Glenn McCall of South Carolina said in an email obtained by The Daily Caller that was distributed to the entire committee on Wednesday.

McCall’s “been there and done that” statement refers to the past chairmanship of Michael Steele.

RNC chairman Reince Priebus has told the members of the committee that he’s running for re-election, which will take place in January. A majority of members have committed to supporting him, according to sources.

In television appearances, Watts has been critical of Priebus and the Republican Party’s outreach to minorities, particularly black voters.

But McCall, in his Wednesday email, offered support to Priebus. He also distributed a link to an opinion piece about Watts once claiming he was considering supporting President Obama’s election in 2008.

“Reince, thank you for not being distracted by any potential challengers for chair who are talking about our party not reaching out to nontraditional voters,” he wrote.

Said McCall: “I feel extremely comfortable in saying that our State Parties are doing an outstanding job of working to get our message out in nontraditional communities and are working to recruit solid diverse candidates that believe in our conservative values.”

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