Several possible RNC contenders are attending RGA meetings here in search of votes and endorsements. Priebus, once a close Steele ally, and Michigan national committee member Saul Anuzis are among the committee members considered top threats to Steele's chairmanship; Anuzis has announced his candidacy, while Priebus is mulling a bid, according to several sources.
But the new RNC chairman might also come from outside the committee, and two top Republican strategists are considered possible contenders. RGA executive director Nick Ayers has been approached by prominent GOP officials, and Collins himself floated around the RGA meeting quietly canvassing for support.
In a brief interview, Ayers refused to rule an RNC bid in or out, but he laid out a list of accomplishments that sound like the beginnings of a stump speech, including guiding the RGA to the point at which the GOP boasts 29 of the nation's governorships.
"If I stay in politics, it won't be out of any pursuit of my own ambition, it'll be because I'm asked to do something," Ayers said. "I have not made any decisions, in all sincerity, of what I'm going to do next."