From NBC's Domenico Montanaro
Michael Steele became the first African American to lead the Republican Party, two months after Barack Obama was elected the first black president of the United States.
It took six rounds, but, in the end, Steele pulled it off, staving off South Carolina Party chair Katon Dawson, by a 91-77 vote. (This means, of the Anuzis votes, Steele picked up 12, Dawson got eight.)
"As a little boy growing up in this town, this is awesome," Steele said. "It is with a great deal of humility and sense of service that I thank all of you ... to serve as the next chairman of our proud ... strong ... and very, very hardworking Republican National Committee. ...
"It's time for something completely different, and we're going to bring it to them. We are going to bring this party to every corner, board room, community....
"For those who want to obstruct," he warned, "get ready to be knocked over."
He vowed to expand the party like never before seen and that he will take the fight to all parts of the country.
"To my friends in the Northeast," he said, "get ready baby, it's time to turn it on. We're going to win in the Northeast, continue to win in the South, win with a new storm in the midwest, and when we get to the west, we're going to win there."
He called this "a new opportunity. I cannot do this by myself."
He vowed to empower the national committeemen and make sure the "values" and "principles that made us the party of Lincoln" are brought to the forefront.