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RNC’s Priebus Starts Biggest Task: Raising Money

Less than a week after being elected Republican National Committee chairman, Reince Priebus has announced a new finance team and distributed his first fundraising solicitation.

Priebus named veteran GOP fundraisers Sam Fox, Ron Weiser and Al Hoffman to lead the RNC Transition Team, which has scheduled a meeting with other top fundraisers at RNC headquarters on Tuesday.

The lack of major donors supporting the committee in the midterm elections caused a great deal of friction among the 168 RNC members, who voted out former Chairman Michael Steele last Friday. The RNC is also facing nearly $22 million in debt, and members continue to debate how best to pay that down while also ramping up fundraising for the presidential election.

“It is time for the RNC to tighten its belt, get rid of wasteful spending and bring money in the door to fund key operations for the next cycle,” Priebus said in a statement. “This team of influential fundraisers gives the committee what it needs to restore our donors’ trust and I look forward to hitting the ground running with them.”

Weiser is the former Michigan GOP chairman and previously served as ambassador to Slovakia. Hoffman, who was ambassador to Portugal, is a former RNC finance chairman. Fox was a top fundraiser for President George W. Bush and in 2007 was appointed ambassador to Belgium.

“If we are to prevail in the 2012 presidential election, it is imperative that the necessary resources be made available,” Fox said. “The RNC has an impressive history of success raising significant funds used to elect Republican candidates.”

Priebus, who most recently served as Wisconsin GOP chairman, introduced himself and opened the fundraising gates in a Thursday night e-mail to supporters.

“The active support of conservative grassroots leaders like you is vital if our Party is to succeed,” Priebus wrote. “Thank you for your time and I look forward to getting to know you and working more closely with you in the weeks and months ahead.”

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