Reince Priebus was elected chairman of the Republican National Committee on Friday after Michael Steeledropped his bid to stay atop the party for another two years.

Priebus clinched the victory after seven rounds, securing 97 votes, more than the 85 required to win. Steele dropped out of the race after four rounds.

“At this time, I will step aside for others to lead,” Steele told the168 RNC committee members at the Gaylord Resort in National Harbor, Md. “But in so doing, I hope y’all appreciate the legacy we leave. Despite the noise — because lord know we had a lot of noise — despite the difficulties, we won.”

Steele got a standing ovation after his announcement following a tenure marked by controversy and embarrassment despite huge Republican gains in the fall. Steele urged supporters to vote for former RNC Deputy Chairwoman Maria Cino.

But Priebus beat out Cino along with former Michigan state GOP chairman Saul Anuzis and former RNC Co-Chairwoman Ann Wagner.

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