His primary may be over, but S.C. Republican chairman Katon Dawson has another election in sight. And not just in November.
He's one of a handful of state party leaders being mentioned as the GOP's next national chairman. Party officials won't choose a new chairman until June of 2009, and Dawson is careful not to be too blatant in his interest.
"We’re not actively running at this time, and it wouldn't be proper," he said today. However, he added, "I'd always be interested."
For months, the S.C. party has sent reporters a daily digest of political news. At the top are media references that mention or quote Dawson. And in the weeks before the Jan. 19 primary, it was a long list.
It may not hurt Dawson's chances that the party's nominee influences the selection of a chairman, especially if that nominee becomes president. And if Sen. John McCain wins the nomination, he could owe South Carolina a favor for keeping his early momentum going.
Dawson and other S.C. Republicans like to point out that since 1980, everybody who's won their primary has gone on to win nomination. If it's McCain, that 28-year streak will continue.
"Looks like it's going to be close to 32 next time we brag about it," Dawson says.