Kansas Rep. Mike Pompeo, the only Member of Congress who’s also a member of the Republican National Committee, endorsed former RNC official Maria Cino for RNC chairman on Friday afternoon.
“After looking at all the candidates, Maria clearly stands out as the only candidate with the knowledge and experience to run the Committee on the first day she takes the job,” Pompeo wrote. “From being the first candidate to issue detailed plans for how she would address the Committee’s most pressing issues to the depth and detail of her answers at this week’s candidates’ debate, Maria has shown why I continue to hear from Members of the Committee that she is the best candidate.”
An RNC member since 2008, Pompeo was elected to replace Rep. Todd Tiahrt, who lost his bid for Senate in 2010 in the Republican primary. The new Congressman said he would step down from the RNC after next week’s annual RNC meeting in Maryland, and Tiahrt will be among the candidates to finish Pompeo’s term at the Republican State Committee’s Jan. 29 meeting.
RNC Chairman Michael Steele campaigned with Pompeo in September.
“Not only did [Steele] help me succeed in my race but he was a significant contributor to Republican successes all across the country — and I know he will continue to play an important role in our party in the years ahead,” Pompeo wrote. “I have simply come to the judgment that the next two years call for a change at the helm of the RNC.”
Pompeo is Cino’s 10th public supporter. A dark horse in the race, Cino trails Steele, Wisconsin GOP Chairman Reince Priebus, former Michigan GOP Chairman Saul Anuzis and former Missouri GOP Chairman Ann Wagner in public endorsements. But she has a powerful ally in Speaker John Boehner (Ohio), who called RNC members on her behalf.
The 168 RNC members will vote for a new chairman during their annual meeting next week at National Harbor.
The Dalai Lama greets House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., before a meeting with House leaders in the Capitol. The Dalai Lama was on the Hill to meet with members of the House and Senate and also presided of the Senate's morning prayer.