Under the Dome

Will J.C. Watts challenge Rience Priebus in Charlotte?

When Republicans hold their annual winter meeting in Charlotte in January, there may be a showdown as the party decides it's leader in the wake of an unsuccesful election cycle.

Reince Priebus, current chairman of the RNC, has already announced he wants another term – but the rumor mill, thanks to a recent POLITICO story, is about to gain momentum now that J.C. Watts says he has been "encouraged" by supporters to challenge for the job.

Watts played football for the Oklahoma Sooners and served four terms in the House from 1994 to 2002 representing the Sooner State. He has remained popular within Republican circles since resigning, and his name often shows up on short lists for anything from possible vice presidential picks to gubernatorial hopefuls.

“My concern right now, and I don’t say this necessarily as a candidate [for RNC chairman], my concern is that as a Republican, every single Republican in America ought to be concerned about what has happened in 2008 and 2012,” Watts told POLITICO. “In this business, if you’re not growing, you’re dying.”

The paper says Watts' enthusiasm and ability to appeal to minority groups – he's African-American – makes him a prime candidate to unseat Priebus. Said Watts: “These old, tired, pathetic models of saying, ‘Okay, in the black [community], when there’s a presidential election, we will form an African-American Coalition for [Mitt] Romney or [Sen. John] McCain,’ I’ll never do that again. That is a joke, that is so tired.”

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