Steele Stuns GOP by Announcing Re-Election Bid

Embattled RNC chairman seeking second term
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 13, 2010 10:15 PM CST
Updated Dec 14, 2010 6:05 AM CST
In this Nov. 2, 2010 file photo, RNC Chairman Michael Steele speaks during an election night gathering hosted by the National Republican Congressional Committee, in Washington.    (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

(Newser) – Michael Steele has defied expectations and announced that he plans to seek another term at the helm of the GOP. The embattled Republican National Committee chairman, heavily criticized by his own party over gaffes and alleged financial mismanagement, told the RNC's 168-member governing board that although he has "stumbled along the way," he is going to seek another 2-year term, Politico reports.

Steele spent half-an-hour defending his record before announcing his decision. Critics "are talking a lot of trash about fund-raising and talking a lot of smack about major donors," he said before pointing out that the RNC raised more money this election cycle than the Democrats did before capturing Congress in 2006. Steele will face at least five challengers next month when the committee chooses a leader to take it through the 2012 presidential election.

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