Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Michael Steele makes his remarks during a Republican National Committee Winter Meeting in Oxon Hill, Md., Friday, Jan. 14, 2011. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta) By Manuel Balce Ceneta
OXON HILL, Md. (AP) -- GOP Chairman Michael Steele has dropped his re-election bid after falling behind in balloting for the leadership of the Republican National Committee.
He asked his backers to give their votes to GOP operative Maria Cino.
Steele got a standing ovation after his announcement following a rocky two-year tenure that saw Republicans notch huge victories last fall.
After four rounds of voting, Reince Priebus (Ryns Pree'-bus) was leading. Cino, Ann Wagner and Saul Anuzis also were competing.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)