Collins drops out of RNC race

Gentry Collins, a former Iowa political operative who moved onto the national stage, launched a campaign of his own in December.  Collins was running for Republican National Committee chairman.  Tonight, he dropped out of the race.  His open letter of withdrawal is below:

January 2, 2011

On November 16th, I made the difficult decision to resign as National Political Director of the RNC. My resignation letter put forward concrete facts about the financial condition of the RNC in blunt terms, and it resonated with members of the Committee. In it, I called for a change in leadership at the RNC and since then what I revealed to Committee Members has been validated.  As it turns out, I believe that the memo has been a game-changer for Chairman Steele’s re-election prospects.

Many encouraged me to enter the race and I did so to ensure that there were serious alternatives members could look to for new leadership.  As I said in my announcement letter, my loyalty was and will always be to the Republican Party and not to any one individual.  During the last month and a half, I have spent my time traveling to 20 states and meeting with many members of the RNC talking about change in leadership at the RNC and how to get it back on solid financial footing.  I entered this race to make sure there was a credible alternative to Michael Steele and have said from day one I will not get in the way of electing new leadership at the RNC. 

It is after much consideration and thought that I announce my withdrawal from the race for Chairman of the RNC.  I believe that there are several qualified candidates in the race for Chairman, each of whom would do a fine job leading the committee through the 2012 Election cycle.  We have a huge task in front of us.  We must retain the majority in the House, we must gain a majority in the Senate and most importantly we must defeat Barack Obama, his policies and his ideology in 2012.  I am confident that the members of the Republican National Committee will make the right decision on January 14th and I stand ready to help in any way I can to make sure the RNC is returned once again to its status as the flagship committee in our Party.

I want to thank the members who have supported me, both publicly and privately in this endeavor and throughout my tenure at the RNC. I also appreciate the advice and support of so many friends and family throughout this effort. My thanks and appreciation as well for the good men and women seeking to replace Chairman Steele.  Ann, Maria, Reince, and Saul are all outstanding candidates, and any of them would move the committee in a positive direction.
Best regards,
Gentry Collins

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.