Jim Greer Elected Chairman of the RNC Rules Committee
Florida Republican Party Chairman Jim Greer won a first-ballot election Thursday as Rules Chairman of the Republican National Committee, positioning him for an influential role during the 2010 elections, when mentor Gov. Charlie Crist is running for U.S. Senate.
Greer captured 27 votes to second-place finisher Bruce Ash, the Arizona national committeeman. Curly Haugland, the committeeman from North Dakota, finished third with four votes among RNC members casting ballots.
As state chairman, Greer had battled with the GOP's national rules committee over Florida's January 2008 primary, which violated party rules. The state delegation to last year's convention in Minneapolis-St. Paul was cut in half as punishment, only to be reinstated once it was clear that John McCain would be the nominee.
McCain's nomination began to come together following his victory in the Florida primary, which was aided by a late-hour endorsement from Crist.
Greer has drawn heat within Florida from party conservatives who say he takes moderate stance on social issues and top-down management style. A former Oviedo vice-mayor, Greer was Crist's hand-picked party chairman.
A hard-hitting story in Thursday's Washington Times that handicapped the field included some unflattering assessments of Florida's chairman from political rival Katon Dawson.
"Greer is the single most disliked guy on the RNC -- that would be my guess," former South Carolina Republican Chairman Katon Dawson was quoted as saying in the Times. Dawson lost a bid last year for national chairman to Michael Steele, who was endorsed by Greer.
"I was disappointed," Greer told The Hill when asked about Dawson's comments. "I think his comments, not only about me but in the broader text, continue to demonstrate his frustration in losing the chairmanship in January."
Dawson was reported to be backing Hoaglund, who finished a very distant third place in the balloting.