Emineth may seek national postBISMARCK — Former North Dakota Republican Party Chairman Gary Emineth said Monday he is considering challenging the embattled national party chairman for that post.
By: By Teri Finneman , The Dickinson Press
BISMARCK — Former North Dakota Republican Party Chairman Gary Emineth said Monday he is considering challenging the embattled national party chairman for that post.
But Emineth said he did not step down as state chairman last week to take on Michael Steele.
Emineth said he resigned from the state party on Thursday to focus on his business interests. Emineth and a group of investors recently bought a New Mexico burrito company, and Emineth is trying to set up a manufacturing facility in North Dakota.
Emineth said he’s frustrated with what’s going on in Washington and considered at some point running for national chairman.
“The issue boils down to someone needed to speak up on Chairman Steele’s chairmanship and what’s happening nationally in the Republican Party,” Emineth said. “If it turns up I end up being a candidate for national chairman, so be it. Right now, I’m not ruling out the possibility.”
Emineth said he may get more serious about seeking the post as time goes on.
Steele’s two-year term expires in January.
“I really am not going to do anything until after the midterm elections,” Emineth said. “I don’t want to distract from this important November election. But I have great concerns of Chairman Steele serving another term as chairman of the Republican National Committee.”
Emineth, 51, served as the state Republican chairman for three years. He was in the middle of his second two-year term when he announced his resignation last week.
Emineth isn’t the only Republican voicing concerns about Steele’s leadership.
The most recent controversy involves remarks Steele made about Afghanistan being a “war of Obama’s choosing.”
On Sunday, Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham condemned Steele’s comment. Neither GOP lawmaker, however, was outraged enough to demand Steele’s resignation, as some other Republicans have done. Both said from Kabul it was up to Steele to decide whether he could continue to lead the party.
Steele’s controversial remarks were captured Thursday on camera during a Connecticut fundraiser that was closed to the news media and posted online.
Graham, R-S.C., described himself as “dismayed, angry and upset. It was an uninformed, unnecessary, unwise, untimely comment.”
He told CBS’ “Face the Nation” that “this is not President Obama’s war. This is America’s war. We need to stand behind the president.”
Asked whether Steele should quit, Graham said, “It’s up to him to see if he can lead the Republican Party. It couldn’t have come at a worst time.”
The Associated Press contributed to this story.
— Finneman is a multimedia reporter for Forum Communications Co.