Michael Steele made history as the first African-American chairman of the Republican National Committee Friday, Jan. 30.
Steele beat out six other candidates with 91 out of 168 votes; he needed 85 to win.
Press Secretary for the Republican Party of Florida, Katie Gordon said some of Steele’s responsibilities include fund raising, candidate recruitment, and representing the Republican Party across the nation.
In a press release from the Republican Party of Florida, Steele said his transition team will focus on recruiting a new cadre of top-notch candidates and operatives, build new volunteer networks and forge new working relationships with state and local parties.
The team will prepare for the gubernatorial and local elections later this year in Virginia and New Jersey and the special Congressional election in New York State.
Leon county resident and Chairman of the Leon County Republican Party, Dan Abel, 33, said he is confident about Steele’s new position.
“I am excited, I feel Steele is a strong conservative, and he will get our message out there,” Abel said.
Abel also said that the Republican message hasn’t always been presented well.
“Less government, less taxes, more personal freedom and personal responsibility,” is what Abel said the party stands for.
A statement released by Gordon for Florida Gov. Charlie Crist congratulated Steele on his election and explained how Chairman Steele helped in Florida.
“During the last election cycle, Michael helped us to elect Republicans across our state and we are excited about working with the RNC to increase those numbers,” Crist said.
Steele finds support in Florida, receiving the public endorsement of James A. Greer the Republican Party of Florida Chairman. A letter sent to other RNC members listed points for Steele regarding topics important to the Republican party including Steele’s commitment to grassroots, his proven fund raising, understanding and respect for the role of party, becoming the party of ideas, and communicating the message.
Abel said he would like to see several changes made with Chairman Steele.
“I think the number one focus needs to be articulating the Republican message,” Abel said. “It needs to be out there to the public to get to know. Steele was on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. He did a lot with technology for the campaign. This was a great start.”
But not all Tallahassee Republicans are ready to sing praises to the new changes made in the Republican Party.
Florida A&M University recent graduate Christopher Weaver, 22, from Pompano Beach, said the party should have started to strategize earlier.
“The Republican party is playing catch up,” Weaver said. “On the basis of change, the parties version of change is to appeal to the minorities who they hadn’t previously appealed to. I feel like it’s to little to late.”