Ex-Sen. Coleman won't challenge Steele for RNC chair

Former Minnesota Sen. Norm Coleman won't run against Michael Steele for the Republican National Committee chairmanship.

"It's very simple," Coleman told MinnPost.com. "I've said if Steele was running, I wouldn't run against him. He strongly supported me in the past; I made that commitment to him a number of months ago — if he's in I’m not in."

Steele announced late Monday that he would seek a second term at the Jan. 14 RNC leadership election. There were reports before his announcement that Coleman would jump in if Steele bowed out, as some observers expected.

Even without Coleman, Steele faces a crowded field of challengers that includes: Saul Anuzis, former chairman of the Michigan GOP; Wisconsin Republican Reince Priebus; Anne Wagner, a former ambassador to Luxembourg and Missouri Republican Party chairwoman; former RNC official Gentry Collins; and Maria Cino, a former Bush administration official.

Coleman declined to weigh in on Steele's reelection odds.

"I have a lot of friends in the race, his race is very challenging," he said.