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RNC Runners-Up May Still Be Running

Though the race for chairman of the Republican National Committee is over, some of the former candidates may soon be running for office again.

Saul Anuzis, the former chairman of the Michigan GOP, lost bids to become RNC chairman in 2009 and 2011. But on a Michigan television news program Saturday, Anuzis said he’s considering running against Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow in the next election cycle.

“I haven’t ruled anything out,” Anuzis said on “Michigan Matters,” according to the Detroit Free Press. He tweeted the story with its headline, “Michigan GOP leader Anuzis considers 2012 run against Stabenow.”

Another former candidate for RNC chairman, Ann Wagner, may also be looking at running for Senate. John Hancock, who served as executive director of the Missouri GOP when Wagner was chairwoman, said she is considering the Senate race.

“I think she’s taking a very serious look at it,” he said. “It’s a process to go through in terms of testing the waters, in terms of testing your own resolve to do something like this, and running for the U.S. Senate is a huge commitment not just on the candidate but on the family.”

The two former RNC candidates’ options are reminiscent of the 1993 race for RNC chairman. Haley Barbour, now the governor of Mississippi and a potential candidate for president in 2012, won that race. But two losing candidates got elected to the Senate in 1994.

Spencer Abraham, a former chairman of the Michigan GOP, finished second in the RNC race in 1993 but was elected to the Senate from Michigan. John Ashcroft, a former governor of Missouri, finished fourth in the RNC race that year but was elected to the Senate from Missouri. Both men were defeated after one term in the Senate — Abraham by Stabenow and Ashcroft by Mel Carnahan, who died shortly before the election.