Two-time legislative candidate Rebecca Schiff has emerged as the woman to beat in the contest for a new head of the state Republican Party.

PROVIDENCE — Two-time legislative candidate Rebecca Schiff has emerged as the woman to beat in the contest for a new head of the state Republican Party.

Schiff, who waged two unsuccessful campaigns for the House seat held by Democrat Deborah Ruggiero of Jamestown, told fellow Republicans in an email on Friday that she is a candidate for the post.

What is holding Rhode Island back “from reaching greater economic prosperity and impinges upon our freedoms, is the imbalance of power in our state government,″ she wrote. “The way to shift that balance is for our Party to become more effective. We cannot do that without a strategic plan and the resources to implement action.”

She did not elaborate or respond to Journal inquiries.

In her email and online biography, Schiff said she received a doctorate in political science from the University of Chicago, “has lectured on foreign policy to civilians and military officers in Rhode Island and throughout the world ... [and] is a renowned author in the field of civil-military relations.”

She also described herself as a small-business owner.

“Moreover, I also have 20 years of successful professional and volunteer fundraising experience; and I enjoy fundraising. I understand the importance to our party of raising money and will have a laser focus on this crucial task.”

Schiff already has two influential backers: Cranston Mayor and two-time GOP nominee for governor Allan Fung and his wife, Barbara Ann Fenton. They told Political Scene in a joint email:

“Rebecca is a brilliant woman with a PhD in political science, acts as a true consensus builder, and has a strong background in fundraising. She’s a fresh face for our party, and has our full support.”

Current GOP Chairman Brandon Bell — who also waged an unsuccessful campaign for a seat in the Rhode Island House of Representatives — is not expected to seek reelection as party leader when his term ends in March.

Other potential candidates include former GOP Rep. Robert Lancia of Cranston, who lost his bid for reelection last year; and unsuccessful GOP Senate candidate Michael Veri, of Woonsocket.

Former state GOP Chairman Mark Zaccaria signaled a week ago that he was actively “recruiting and trying to find someone more well qualified for the post than I.

“That has come to pass,″ said Zaccaria, citing the email he received from Schiff.

Ruggiero defeated Schiff two elections in a row, beating her 57 percent to 43 percent in 2018. Schiff spent more than $160,200 on the 2018 race, including $157,500 of her own money.

“I will put the same energy and resources that went into my two campaigns for state representative into moving our party in the right direction,″ Schiff promised the party faithful.