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GOP watch: DeLay sentenced to 3 years in prison

The AP: “A judge yesterday ordered Tom DeLay, former US House majority leader, to serve three years in prison for his role in a scheme to illegally funnel corporate money to Texas candidates in 2002.” DeLay said, “I can’t be remorseful for something I don’t think I did.” More: “DeLay’s attorney Dick DeGuerin said he expected the conviction would be overturned on appeal.”

Could Steele win on Friday? “Steele, the current chairman who has been beset by two years of almost continuous controversy and gaffes, is widely assumed to have no chance at winning a second term. But that outcome is not a lock, despite the fact that key Republicans have been working tirelessly to ensure Steele is defeated,” The Daily Caller’s Jon Ward writes.

The Hill: Wisconsin Party chairman Reince “Priebus leads the field with 36 RNC members publicly backing him, according to a count by National Review Online. Current RNC Chairman Michael Steele is a close second with 27 members backing him. Priebus' front-runner status could prove a liability, according to Mike Duncan. The former RNC chairman, who was Steele's predecessor serving from 2007-2009, said the leader typically ‘loses momentum after the first or second ballot,’ he said recently.”

Hotline’s Whip Count gives Priebus 38, Steele 17, MI committeeman Saul Anuzis 14, fmr. MO party chair Ann Wagner 14, fmr. Bush official Maria Cino 12 with 73 undecided.