RNC Old Bulls Fall Early at Winter Meeting

Members of the Republican National Committee, meeting Friday to elect new officers at a Washington hotel, signaled a desire for a new direction as several long-time party officials lost regional races.

In races for seats to the RNC's executive committee, several younger members seeking slots on the Budget and Rules committees ousted some of their longest-serving colleagues, a sign many took to be indicative of a widespread hunger for change.

Among those who lost positions were Bob Bennett, the veteran chairman and national committeeman from Ohio, who came up short in a bid to sit on the executive committee. Ron Kaufmann, the national committeeman from Massachusetts, fell to David Norcross, a long-serving New Jersey committeeman.

Perhaps most surprisingly, Virginia committeeman Morton Blackwell, a presence on the RNC for more than three decades, lost races to represent the Southern region on both the budget and rules panel, as a slate of younger, newer candidates swept to power.

Members are set to vote on a chairman and other officers Friday. Incumbent chairman Robert "Mike" Duncan is seeking re-election and is expected to lead the first ballot, but his chances could suffer if committee members are truly in the mood for change.

-Reid Wilson

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