First Contender Lines Up for Michael Steele's Seat RNC chief on increasingly thin ice By John Johnson, Newser Staff Posted Jul 3, 2010 4:38 PM CDT 41 comments Comments Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele speaks at the Rhode Island Republican Party Convention on Wednesday, June 30, 2010 in Cranston, R.I. (AP Photo/Joe Giblin) (Newser) – The trouble deepens for Michael Steele. With prominent conservatives such as William Kristol, Liz Cheney, and Charles Krauthammer calling for his head, the jockeying has begun to succeed him as leader of the RNC. The party chairman of North Dakota tells the Washington Times that he will resign his state post to prepare a challenge against Steele after the midterms. Unlike the big-name critics who are irate over Steele's dissing of the Afghan war, Gary Emineth says he's more perturbed that Steele has let big donors flee the party. "I was shocked at the last RNC meeting to learn how little money we got from our major donors," he tells the newspaper.