Former Bush administration official Maria Cino has created a 527 committee for an increasingly likely bid to become the RNC chairwoman, POLITICO has learned.
On Friday, Cino filed papers to create Maria for Chairman with the FEC, a move that will let her raise and spend money in a campaign to take over the national party.
In a sign of her strength among GOP insiders, Cino’s Alexandria-based organization is being aided in part by Mary Cheney, daughter of the former vice president. Cheney’s name is listed on the filing papers as one of three individuals helping to organize the committee.
Cino’s formal announcement is likely to come soon after Thanksgiving, according to a source who is part of a small group advising Cino on a possible run. RNC Chairman Michael Steele has not yet indicated whether he will seek a second two-year term.
Cino has served in a variety of political and government jobs in the Bush years, including a stint as deputy secretary of transportation, and is now a Washington-based lobbyist for Pfizer. But she’s better known to the political world as a capable operative who came up on the Hill, working first for Rep. Bill Paxon, who then represented Cino’s native Buffalo, and then as a senior aide at the NRCC in the 1990s.