Backstage maneuvering begins in wide-open GOP chairman’s race
By Scott Wong, The

There’s a race in the Republican Party happening far away from the hot media glare, one that doesn’t involve a candidate named Trump or Twitter fights or violent protests.

In fact, you’ve probably never heard of most of the possible leading contenders.

It’s the race to succeed Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus, who’s expected to step down in January 2017 after a record six years.

Matt Pinnell, 36, is considered one of the front-runners for the top RNC job. The former Oklahoma GOP chairman served for several years under Priebus as the RNC’s national state party director.

In that role, Pinnell advises state parties about operations and fundraising, and has frequent contact with the very committee members whose backing he’ll need in an election.

Pinnell declined to comment, but a state GOP chairman close to him said Pinnell very much “fits the profile” of Priebus before he was elected chairman. Priebus previously served as Wisconsin GOP chairman before his appointment as RNC general counsel.

“Pinnell’s getting the most buzz among RNC members,” said one state GOP chairman. “If the election were held today, he’d be prohibitive favorite.”

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