WASHINGTON … North Buffalo native Maria Cino, a longtime GOP operative, is
eyeing a possible bid to chair the Republican National Committee.
Cino, an aide to former Rep. Bill Paxon who later served briefly as acting
transportation secretary, could be one of several candidates to replace GOP
Chairman Michael Steele.
Steele is running for a second two-year term despite constant controversy
and fundraising problems during his first two years of office.
It appeared early Thursday that Cino registered a web site for her bid,
That website appeared to be in its beginning stages, with only a headline
that said "Maria Cino for chairman of the RNC." Later in the day, though, that
headline and the red-white-and-blue background were replaced by a tutorial
page for creating a web site.
Former Rep. Thomas M. Reynolds of Clarence, now a Republican activist in
Washington, called Cino "well qualified" and with much Washington experience.
"Certainly, Michael Steele will have many challenges as he comes before the
committee, and Maria Cino will be one of those well qualified names under
consideration," Reynolds said. "But she has a long way to go in getting
support from 186 voting members of the national committee."
A graduate of Mount St. Joseph Academy and St. John Fisher College, Cino,
now 53, has been active in Republican politics for three decades.
She is a former RNC deputy chairwoman and served as executive director of
the National Republican Congressional Committee in 1994, when Republicans
gained control of the House.
Cino also has worked on three presidential campaigns, including a stint as
political director for the campaign that resulted in George W. Bush becoming
president in 2000.
Most recently she served as chief executive officer for the Republican
National Convention in St. Paul, Minn., in 2008.
Cino did not reply to an email seeking comment about her possible run.
Other possible candidates for the post include former RNC Chairman Mike
Duncan, former Michigan GOP Chairman Saul Anuzis, and Wisconsin GOP Chairman
-- Jerry Zremski and Robert J. McCarthy