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Steele said, “If you don’t live in the district, you don’t vote there, your opinion really doesn’t matter very much.” In January 2010 Steele upset Republican members of Congress when he suggested that the party could not win control of the House of Representatives in that year’s midterm elections.In July Steele faced calls for his resignation by many prominent Republicans following erroneous comments he made that the war in Afghanistan was “a war of Obama’s choosing” and that it was “not something that the United States had actively prosecuted or wanted to engage in.”Steele also evoked controversy when it was revealed that he had accepted large speaking fees from organizations, a practice criticized by several former party leaders.His statements and his introduction of a health care plan without consultation with Republican congressional leaders led some Republicans to ask him to refrain from interfering in matters of policy.Still, as head of the RNC, Steele was instrumental in directing the Republican opposition to Obama and pursued a conservative agenda on a range of issues, including abortion, gay rights, global warming, and health care.The campaign was waged against Democrat Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, who was running for governor, and Charles R. In the September primary election, Ehrlich and Steele had no serious opposition.In the November 2002 general election, the Republican Ehrlich-Steele ticket won, 51 percent to 48 percent, even though Maryland traditionally votes Democratic and had not elected a Republican Governor in almost 40 years.
After serving one term as RNC Chairperson from 2009 to 2011, he lost his bid for a second term and was succeeded by Reince Priebus.In 2002 Maryland Republican gubernatorial candidate Robert Ehrlich selected him as the party’s nominee for lieutenant governor.Although Democratic voters heavily outnumbered Republicans in Maryland, Ehrlich and Steele claimed a narrow election victory, and Steele became the first African American to win statewide office there, serving from 2003 to 2007.Michael Steele, in full Michael Stephen Steele, (born October 19, 1958, Andrews Air Force Base, Prince George’s county, Maryland, U. A devout Roman Catholic, he studied for the priesthood for several years at a seminary associated with Villanova University in Villanova, Pennsylvania, before enrolling at Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D. Republican Party as an adult, a change he later attributed to his widowed mother’s refusal to apply for welfare and his belief in Republican Pres. In 1994 Steele became chair of the Prince George’s County Republican Party Central Committee.S.), American politician, the first African American to serve as chairman of the Steele attended Johns Hopkins University, where he received a B. He left that post in 2000 to head the Maryland Republican Party State Central Committee.