Newly elected chairman of the Republican National Committee Michael Steele said he is focused on three races in his effort to rebuild the GOP after it endured worrying losses in November's elections that gave Democrats control of Congress and the White House.
Steele, Maryland's former lieutenant governor and the first black to head the RNC, said one of the most critical battles for the GOP is to capture New York's 20th congressional seat formerly held by U.S. Sen. Kristen Gillibrand, D-N.Y.
"It is the first of a series of races that are coming up that are going to be incredibly important," Steele said in remarks Saturday to the Republican House Retreat in Hot Springs, Va.
Steele said he will be in New York next week for a meeting with Republican state leadership to "map out the strategy to take that seat."
"That win will send a powerful signal to the rest of the country and especially those folks in the elite media who think they know so much more than the rest of us," he said.
"Our game is not up ... our message still rings true with countless Americans, specifically with those in the 20th congressional district," he added.
The Republican chairman said the GOP's second focus will be on winning the governorship in both Virginia and New Jersey, along with other state offices.
"That is our fight," he said of the two races.