S.C. politico Dawson won’t seek RNC chairmanship

Katon Dawson

COLUMBIA — Former S.C. Republican Party leader Katon Dawson said today that he won’t run against embattled Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele.

Dawson narrowly lost to Steele in 2009 to lead the Republican Party. Steele announced Monday that he would seek a second term.

“It’s good to be in South Carolina,” Dawson said. “Staying home was more attractive this time.”

Dawson said he wants to work to get a Republican elected president in 2012, although he has not decided who he will back.

Dawson also runs his family’s Columbia-based Burns Auto Parts and Supply Inc. and he opened up a public affairs company Dawson Public Affairs Inc. when he retired from the state GOP chairmanship in May 2009.

He will not support Steele in his run for a second term. Dawson said he has a few friends who have decided to take on Steele and he will support one of them. Dawson said Steele has lost the confidence of Republican contributors and that’s the main reason he won’t back him.

“I will absolutely not be supporting Michael Steele,” Dawson said. “We should thank Chairman Steele for his service and move on.”

Read more in Thursday’s editions of The Post and Courier.