Ken Blackwell has issued a statement in the wake of his unsuccessful bid for chairman of the Republican National Committee, addressing his endorsement of Michael Steele and other issues:
I would like to thank all of my friends in the conservative community for their humbling support in my bid for Chairman of the Republican National Committee. I know my late entry and lack of membership on the committee made it an uphill battle for us, but with your help and your voice, we made a major national impact and re-affirmed that conservative principles are alive and well in the Republican Party.
Just because the race is over doesn’t mean our jobs are finished. Now is the time to take our message of reform, especially the need to return the party to the grassroots, to the new leadership team at party headquarters.
Last week, the 168 members of the Republican National Committee elected Michael Steele as their national chairman. I was proud to be a significant part of that effort, not only by encouraging my supporters to elect him, but also by assuring the members of the RNC, and Republicans following the race nationwide, that Michael Steele is taken seriously by conservatives like us. Governor Ronald Reagan once told his staff, “the person who agrees with you 80 percent of the time is a friend and an ally — not a 20 percent traitor.” While Michael Steele and I may differ on our approach to some aspects of conservatism, he is still a strong ally in the fight to defeat Democrats and a supporter of the conservative Republican platform, and I look forward to working with him as we energize, inspire, and expand the base.
This election was a battle to see who can best unite these members – or at least 85 of them – to capture a majority of the votes in the short term. But in the long term, we need a plan that will rebuild the party by articulating conservative principles, inspiring our base, decentralizing authority, and building the technical infrastructure that will unite the millions of Republican voters behind a common goal of a conservative resurgence across the country.
Republican voters have spoken – at the ballot box, with their donations, through grassroots activities, and in online communication. We’ve all heard and echoed their message: let’s get back to basics. Now we have someone on the national stage who can do something about it, including returning party operations to the state and local leadership, dominating technology in order to position us to win, and preparing for our toughest redistricting battle yet. Michael Steele has assured members of the conservative community that we will not only have a voice, but a place at the table as decisions directing the RNC are made. And I don’t know about all of you, but I’m ready to be put back to work.
A nice place to start might be with working to ensure greater conservative control of state party organizations and representation on the RNC.