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GOP party chair tries for 2nd term

WASHINGTON — Republican National Committee chairman Mike Duncan has set his sights on a second term and officially added his name to a large slate of candidates vying for the position.

Duncan, a native of Inez, announced his re-election bid through an e-mail to RNC members and unveiled a campaign Web site — — complete with a 10-minute introductory campaign video.

"The Republican Party faces some of the biggest decisions in its remarkable history," Duncan wrote in his e-mail.

"Our path forward depends on bold, decisive leadership, input from Republicans across the nation, and most importantly, creativity and innovation that once again establishes the GOP as the Party of Ideas," he wrote.

Duncan went on to tout the GOP's recent fund-raising, which surpassed many pundits' expectations in the face of a Democratic tidal wave.

But Duncan has lots of competition for the post.

Some Republicans are pushing former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich as a possible replacement for Duncan — though Gingrich has said he is uninterested. Former Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele, Michigan Republican Party Chairman Saul Anuzis and Republican leaders from Florida, Mississippi and South Carolina also are gunning for the post.

Duncan, whom some fellow Kentucky Republicans call "Mr. Inside," because of his close ties with President George W. Bush and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, has said problems within the Republican party have been greatly exaggerated.

The 168 voting members of the RNC will vote for a new chairman in late January during a meeting in Washington, D.C.