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Cino Enters RNC Race

Updated: 1:09 p.m.

Republican political veteran Maria Cino has officially joined the race to be the next chairman of the Republican National Committee.

In a Dec. 10 letter on her website, Cino briefly makes her case to RNC members. “I have the experience and qualifications needed to accomplish the very difficult tasks that lie ahead. I would very much appreciate your support,” the letter says.

Cino has served as chief of staff for then-Rep. Bill Paxon (R-N.Y.), who later tapped her as National Republican Congressional Committee executive director when he became NRCC chairman in 1993. A year later, Republicans rose to power in the midterm Congressional elections.

Cino worked for George W. Bush’s 2000 presidential campaign and his 2004 re-election campaign, becoming RNC deputy chairman in 2003.

The field for the RNC chairmanship is becoming crowded. Wisconsin GOP Chairman Reince Priebus, former Michigan GOP Chairman Saul Anuzis and former Missouri Republican Party Chairwoman Ann Wagner have announced their candidacies, and others may yet enter the race. The 168 members of the RNC will vote on the new chairman Jan. 12-15, during the group’s winter meeting at National Harbor in Maryland.

RNC Chairman Michael Steele has not announced whether he will run for re-election. He announced a private conference call with RNC members for 7:30 p.m. Monday in an understated e-mail Saturday night, Politico reported Sunday. Sources told Politico that they believe he will use the call to announce that he will not pursue re-election.

ABC News reported Cino’s announcement Saturday.

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