Ronna McDaniel was officially re-elected as Republican National Committee chair on Friday and will serve an unprecedented fourth term, but she is also formally announcing that it will be her last one as more than a few conservatives sought to replace her as head of the GOP.
(Video Credit: KTLA 5)
“This is my last term as chair. I’m saying it on Fox News. It’s done,” McDaniel stated in an exclusive interview with Fox News.
Just before she made that announcement, McDaniel won the support of 111 committee members in a contentious battle with RNC committee member from California Harmeet Dhillon, who had 51 votes, and My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell, who received 4 votes. It was a secret ballot vote for the chair. She won a majority of the 168 member votes to resecure her position this go-around. The vote took place on the last day of the RNC’s winter meeting in Southern California’s Orange County.
McDaniel is a close ally of former President Trump. While she served as Michigan GOP chair, he threw his support behind her to lead the RNC after winning the election in 2016. She was re-elected in 2019 and 2021.
Dhillon, her primary contender, served as one of Trump’s legal advisors. While McDaniel preaches stability, Dhillon is stressing change is needed in order for the Republican Party to survive in the wake of the 2022 midterm elections.
Following the secret ballot vote for RNC chair, Harmeet Dhillon (@pnjaban) released this statement: pic.twitter.com/zcFMYJbEux
— Kyle Morris (@RealKyleMorris) January 27, 2023
“I know how hard it is to ramp up with a new chair. I wanted to keep that consistency,” McDaniel commented. “We’ve made a lot of changes in my tenure with voter registration, minority outreach. The things that we’ve done have been historic. We need to continue that and do that in this next election. And then I’m happily going to pass the gavel to somebody else.”
McDaniel has been an incredible fundraiser for the party during her terms as chairwoman. But the fact that Republicans failed to take back the Senate and did not do as well as expected in House races during the midterm elections caused many conservatives to call for new leadership in the party.
Dhillon warned the RNC about support from the grassroots after McDaniel took the gavel once more, “If we go back to our homes and ignore this message, I think it’s at our peril. It’s at our peril personally, as party leaders and it’s at our peril for our party in general.”
A brief thought about the RNC Chair race. It’s been an honor to hear from all the Americans who reached out to share their views about the party’s leadership. While we are disappointed with the results, we started a movement & I will keep working to elect Republicans nationwide!! pic.twitter.com/laCe3jUcMY
— Harmeet K. Dhillon (@pnjaban) January 27, 2023
When McDaniel was asked about Dhillon’s comments by Fox News, she said that “I think the grassroots has been fed some misinformation from her campaign, and we’re going to reach out to them.”
“I’m going to go on a grassroots tour. I would love for her [Dhillon] to come with me. I want other leaders in our party to come with me,” she proclaimed. “But they don’t always understand what the RNC does. And that’s our job to go out. But we love the grassroots. We appreciate them. We need them to go knock on doors and be poll watchers. And I’m going to be traveling the country, getting them ready for beating the Democrats because we can only do that united.”
McDaniel vowed to reach out and call Dhillon and Lindell to work with them. Despite that, she remains deeply unpopular with many Republicans.
BREAKING: 71 members of the Republican Party of FL met today to vote NO-CONFIDENCE on Ronna McDaniel
Although the some in party leadership worked hard to suppress turnout & avoid a quorum, the group STILL met to vote
Vote Result: a SUPER MAJORITY of the 71 voted to FIRE RONNA!
— Anthony Sabatini (@AnthonySabatini) January 20, 2023
“My whole campaign for this election has been unity. We need all of us. We need addition, not subtraction. And we can’t fight each other so much that we don’t recognize that we’ve got to beat the Democrats. So that’s what I’m going to do as leader of this party. I’m going to reach out to both of them,” she stated.
When asked about leadership roles, McDaniel responded, “We haven’t discussed anything like that.”
The race against McDaniel was the first contentious one in a dozen years. It comes just before the ramping up for the 2024 presidential election begins to win back the White House, regain the Senate majority, and strengthen the grip on the House majority for the GOP.
How out of touch is the RNC? Why did Ronna McDaniel beat Harmeet Dhillon and Mike Lindell by a landslide for RNC Chair?
Watch LIVE➡ https://t.co/tfCJIexq6t
Watch #StinchfieldTonight with @stinchfield1776 here: https://t.co/1Kv2vaEs8J pic.twitter.com/gUxrjvJAwB
— Real America's Voice (RAV) (@RealAmVoice) January 28, 2023
McDaniel boasted in November that she had the support of over 100 committee members, which turned out to be accurate.
“I felt like I had strong support from the committee because they really want to keep the consistency of the things we’ve done, voter registration, election integrity. And they know it’s such a pivotal time heading into a president presidential election. So they wanted to keep that, but they understand we’re going to bring change,” she asserted.
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