Maria CinoRepublican National Committee

Republican House Speaker Boehner Holding a Reception Today for Maria Cino

Republican National Committee Chairman candidate Maria Cino

Republican House Speaker is upping the ante in the Republican National Committee Chairmanship race.

“House Speaker John Boehner will hold a reception Wednesday night for RNC members, further putting his weight behind the candidacy of Maria Cino. The invitation, sent to RNC members Tuesday and obtained by POLITICO, doesn’t mention Cino’s name. But a backer of the longtime operative and party chair hopeful confirmed that she’ll be there with the speaker. Boehner has already called RNC members on Cino’s behalf, and the reception offers him one final case to make his preference clear before the committee votes Friday on the chairman’s race. ‘Speaker John Boehner cordially invites Members of the Republican National Committee to a Cocktail Reception,’ reads the invitation for the event, held at the suburban Washington hotel where the committee is meeting. It was sent to RNC members by Julie Wadler, a prominent GOP fundraising consultant who is friends with Cino and close to many House members. Boehner’s Chief of Staff, Barry Jackson, is a major Cino booster and is widely seen as the force behind the speaker’s efforts on her behalf.” Cino has 12 votes in POLITICO’s tally of RNC commitments, versus 40 for Reince Priebus, 24 for Michael Steele, 15 for Saul Anuzis and 14 for Ann Wagner.

Behind in the count so far, Cino may very well be a compromise conservative candidate (that is not Michael Steele) which the RNC members might be willing to support after several deadlocked ballots.

Cino has experience and is accomplished with none of the drama or baggage of the others.