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Va. Gov. McDonnell elevated to RGA chair; replaces Perry

Virgina Gov. Bob McDonnell (R)

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell has been named chairman of the Republican Governors Association, replacing Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who is running for president.

The move was widely expected, as McDonnell was the vice chairman of the committee. But this will give McDonnell -- widely considered to be on potential vice-presidential short lists -- a higher profile.

And he will be in the early states. McDonnell will speak in New Hampshire Sept. 26 at a New Hampshire GOP annual fundraising dinner.

This is the second time since 2009 that an RGA chairman has been replaced. Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour replaced Mark Sanford (R-SC) after his Argentine "Appalachian Trail" scandal. Perry took over after Barbour served out his term.

Full release from the RGA below:

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell Named RGA Chairman

The Republican Governors Association announced today that Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell will serve as RGA Chairman following Texas Governor Rick Perry’s decision to enter the race for president. McDonnell had been serving as Vice Chairman of the RGA.

“It is a tremendous honor to lead the RGA,” McDonnell said. “Thanks to the strong leadership of Governor Perry and the nation’s twenty-nine Republican governors, the RGA is in position to have an unprecedented impact this election cycle.”

“I look forward to working with my fellow Republican governors to expand our majority and ensure the RGA remains the most effective political committee in the nation,” McDonnell added. “Republican governors are leading the way in helping the private sector create new jobs, reforming government and getting our economy back on track.”