In a letter to Republican National Committee members on Wednesday, new Republican House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) officially endorsed Mario Cino to be the organization’s next Chairman.
Cino, who served as an official in both the Departments of Transportation and Commerce under President George W. Bush, ran the 2008 Republican National Convention in Minneapolis, and is reportedly a close friend of Boehner’s. She also served as COO of the National Republican Congressional Committee in the mid-1990’s.
At the time that Cino announced her intention to run, she was considered a heavy underdog to replace current RNC Chairman Michael Steele. However, she has since picked up key endorsements from top GOP’ers, including former Vice President Dick Cheney.
Boehner’s letter comes roughly one week after it was first reported that he would back Cino’s candidacy. In the letter, he called Cino the best person for the job of remaking the RNC into the fundraising giant it was once considered to be.
“I have learned firsthand that she is an unparalleled fundraiser and a very efficient manager of resources,” Boehner wrote. “She’s also exceptionally politically savvy and knows what it takes to win.”
“Under her leadership as Chairman, I am confident the RNC will once again raise and effectively spend the funds needed to win the battle of ideas with President Obama and his Democrat allies,” he added.
While the endorsement from arguably the top Republican on Capitol Hill surely won’t hurt, Cino will likely have to overcome Steele as well as fellow candidate Reince Priebus when voting is held on Friday.
Though he has alienated many during his time in charge, Steele still enjoys support from several RNC insiders. Meanwhile, Priebus, who chairs the Republican Party of Wisconsin, has emerged in recent weeks as a favorite to win, and secured a major endorsement of his own on Thursday from former New Hampshire Governor John Sununu (R).