Michael S. Steele was elected today as the new Chairman of the Republican National Committee. Steele defeated the incumbent chairman Mike Duncan, who dropped out earlier today, and three other candidates after six rounds of voting. He received 91 votes out of 168 in the sixth round of voting, 85 votes by members of the national committee were needed to be elected.
In a brief acceptance speech the newly elected chairman said, "We're going to say to friend and foe alike: We want you to be part of us, we want you to be with us, and for those who wish to obstruct, get ready to get knocked over."
After being Chairman of the Maryland Republican Party, Steele was elected Maryland Lt. Governor in 2002. When U.S. Senator Paul Sarbanes, a Democrat, decided to retire in 2006, Steele ran for the open senate seat, but the seat remained in the hands of the Democrats when Ben Cardin won the election with 55% to 44%. for Steele. Since his loss to Cardin, Steele has remained active in the party as Chairman of GOPAC, a national conservative group to help help elect Republicans at the state and local level.
Steele was born on October 19, 1958 at Andrews AFB in Maryland and raised in Washington D.C. After graduation in 1981 from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore with a degree in international relations he spent three years as a seminarian in the Order of St. Augustine in preparation for the priesthood, but he ultimately decided on a legal career instead and earned a degree in law from Georgetown University in 1991.
Active in the Maryland Republican Party as Prince George's County Chairman, in 1995 he was selected as Maryland State Republican Man of the Year. In 1996 he was an Alternate Delegate to the Republican National Convention in San Diego and in 2000 was a Delegate to the GOP National Convention in Philadelphia.
During a recent interview Steele said, "The core values of our party should not change, we are the conservative voice in America."