Blackwell drops out, endorses Steele

Former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell is out of the running to head the GOP; he's asked his supporters to back Michael Steele, but will they listen?

By Alex Koppelman

Published January 30, 2009 8:13PM (EST)

Former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell will not be the next head of the Republican National Committee. After bringing up the rear throughout today's voting, he just announced his withdrawal from the race.

Blackwell threw his support to former Maryland Lt. Gov Michael Steele. If Steele can pick up all of Blackwell's votes in the next ballot, and hold on to all of his, he'll have at least 75, putting him just 10 votes short of victory. However, there is the chance that not all 15 will go Steele's way. Blackwell had the support of the party's social conservatives, who are very wary of Steele. Outgoing Chair Mike Duncan reportedly asked his supporters to switch to Steele when he announced his own withdrawal, and not all of them did.

Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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