Steele-Barbour rivalry explodes

Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour’s effort to assume greater control over the Republican National Committee is entering a new phase with the emergence of one of his closest advisers as a potential rival to Michael S. Steele for party chairman.

Nick Ayers, the 28-year-old director of the Republican Governors Association, is being promoted as a candidate for Republican National Chairman. Steele’s term expires in January, and he’s expected to seek re-election for another two years.

An anti-Steele faction within the party has been signaling for some time that the Republican Governors Association meeting this week in San Diego would mark a new phase in their efforts to push an alternative.

Now it’s happened. As Politico reports, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, the incoming RGA chairman and a potential 2012 presidential contender, made a pitch for Ayers.

Baltimore Sun