Make that one more thing Michael Steele, chairman of the Republican National Committee, has to be thankful for.
Former Sen. Norm Coleman of Minnesota, who has been mentioned as one of the potential candidates for GOP chairman, made it known last week that he does not intend to challenge Steele.
Coleman said in a C-SPAN interview scheduled to be broadcast Sunday that he would not challenge Steele if he decides to run for a second term. "I am not here to do any battles with our chairman; he is a friend," Coleman said.
In an interview with the St. Paul Pioneer Press, the one-term senator who lost to Democrat Al Franken in his 2008 bid for re-election said of Steele, "I don't think he's gotten enough credit for the work he's done bringing the tea party and the Republican Party together."
Steele, the first African-American head of the Republican Party, has been under fire for questionable expenditures, like paying $2,000 for an outing to a strip and bondage club by donors and staff, and other blunders. The Associated Press reported Friday that it had interviewed 51 of the committee's 168 members and that 39 said they would prefer that Steele not be on the ballot. But Steele has indicated that he does not plan to step aside.
Even with Coleman saying he won't challenge the current chairman, Steele still faces plenty of competition. Saul Anuzis, a committman from Michigan, has announced his candidacy. Among those who are said to be potential candidates are Gentry Collins, former political director at the Republican National Committee; Maria Cino, who served in the Transportation Department under former President George W. Bush; and Missouri chairwoman Ann Wagner.