Jeanie Austin,66, co-chairman of the Republican National...


Jeanie Austin,66, co-chairman of the Republican National Committee from 1989 to 1992, died Saturday in Orlando, Fla., two weeks after she was diagnosed with bone cancer.

Second in power and influence to fellow co-chairman Lee Atwater during the Bush administration, she was a tireless party builder, traveling around the country and urging working people -- especially women -- to vote Republican.

In 1984, she launched an improbable bid to become chairman of the party in Florida. Under her leadership, Republican voter registration climbed from 36 percent to 42 percent, Bob Martinez became the first Republican elected governor in 20 years and Connie Mack won the U.S. Senate seat held for 18 years by Democrat Lawton Chiles.

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