The Corner

The RNC’s Gender Problem

In the Rules of the Republican Party, Rule No. 5, which concerns the “Officers of the Republican National Committee,” states:

(a) The officers of the Republican National Committee shall consist of:

(1) A chairman and a co-chairman of the opposite sex who shall be elected by the members of the Republican National Committee. [Emphasis added.]

If the RNC elects a male chair, then, it must elect a female co-chair — and vice versa. Currently, the RNC has a male chair, Michael Steele, and a female co-chair, Jan Larimer, the committeewoman from Wyoming. Both are running for reelection. So far, Larimer and Sharon Day, the committeewoman from Florida, are the only declared candidates for co-chair.

Larimer and Day should hope for a male victory in the chair’s race. Because the RNC elects the chair first, that race determines the co-chair’s gender. They’re fine if Saul Anuzis, Gentry Collins, Reince Priebus, or Steele wins. But if Ann Wagner or Maria Cino proves victorious, Larimer and Day’s electoral dreams will be dashed.

Joyce Terhes, the committeewoman from Maryland and a supporter of Steele, tells National Review Online, if Wagner or Cino were to win, “that would really create havoc with the co-chair.” Terhes surmises that one of the chaps can run for co-chair if he doesn’t win the top slot, but she thinks the current slate of candidates isn’t interested in a consolation prize.


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