Buffalo's Maria Cino is lining up a host of top-level Republicans in her bid to become the next chairwoman of the Republican National Committee.
An invitation making the rounds in Washington today highlights a fund-raiser hosted by former Vice President Dick Cheney, former RNC Chairman Ed Gillespie, and former Reps. Bill Paxon and Susan Molinari -- to be held Dec. 7 at the Alexandria home of Republican pundit Mary Matalin.
Tickets range from $100 to $1,000.
Cino, an alumna of Mt. St. Joseph's Acadeny and St. John Fisher College, has served in several top-level political and governmental posts since joining Paxon in Washington many years ago -- most notably deputy secretary of transportation and chief executive officer of the 2008 Republican National Convention in St. Paul.
Cino is among several candidates vying to replace GOP National Chairman Michael S. Steele, who is running for a second two-year term despite continual controversy and fund-raising problems during his first two years in office.
Her bid is now very much active after she also registered a Web site for her bid, www.mariaforchairman.com.
Meanwhile, the Republican National Conservative Caucus scheduled a Wednesday forum at the Washington Hilton to question candidates for the post, including Cino, Michigan GOP Chairman Saul Anuzis, Connecticut GOP Chairman Chris Healy and former Missouri RNC committee member Ann Wagner.
--Robert J. McCarthy and Jerry Zremski