Ronna McDaniel was re-elected for a fourth term as RNC Chair
Dana Point, California. – Ronna McDaniel was re-elected to a fourth term as chairwoman of the Republican National Committee on Friday, besting insurgent challenger Harmeet Dhillon in a secret ballot vote at the party’s annual winter meeting. McDaniel easily won a majority of the 168 votes needed to win, 111 votes compared to 51 for Dhillon, four for MyPillow founder Mike Lindell and non-candidate former Rep.
Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y. McDaniel is now the longest-serving GOP chair since the 19th century. She joins Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., in addressing challenges to Republican leadership after a disappointing showing in November’s midterm elections. This competition is sure to continue for months. McDaniel released a letter of endorsement after midterm tests from more than 100 of the RNC’s 168 members — prompting Zeldin to decide not to launch her own bid to lead the RNC.
But with voting by secret ballot and Dhillon aggressively campaigning to re-elect McDaniel after GOP defections in November, members did not write Dhillon on the ballot. Publicly, about 30 RNC members committed to Dhillon ahead of the ballot. Lindell, a noted election conspirator, launched a long-shot bid but never gained much momentum. McDaniel’s supporters argue that she is best positioned to lead the party because of her allocation of resources and strong working relationships with state party leadership.
After the count was announced, McDaniel, Dhillon, and Lindell appeared together on stage in a show of unity. In a statement, McDaniel said, “our members are very grateful to entrust me with another term in this role.” “I look forward to working with conservative leaders across our party, including Harmeet and Mike, to deliver on our promises to the American people,” she said. Even with McDaniel as the next chair, many RNC members said they expect tensions to remain.
“Once it’s over tomorrow, it’s not over,” said RNC committeeman Jonathan Barnett of Arkansas, who backed Dhillon to lead the party ahead of the vote. “It takes some time to do some rebuilding, and Harmeet still has a strong voice. All of us who support Harmeet is not giving up. Speaking to reporters after the vote, Dhillon said he was “disappointed” with the result but reiterated his pledge to push back against the loss and work with McDaniel to advance Republican interests.
But she said the party “had to face that fall because it was disconnected from the grassroots”. Some members “feel a little different [about their votes] when they go back home, especially if they come from a state or county that voted overwhelmingly to support change at the RNC,” she confides. Some Dhillon supporters shared their displeasure with the vote. Charlie Kirk, a conservative activist and founder of Turning Point USA, tweeted after the election that he was “truly shocked at how disconnected the RNC Country Club is from the people they are begging for donations.”
“There is a club of consultants who make mad $ from your donations and now they brag about how 90% of the people who want to see change defy the party,” he added. The chair will not vote for the party on Friday. The RNC approved a package of nine resolutions in a voice vote Friday. Resolutions include condemning anti-Semitism, opposing ranked-choice voting, calling on President Joe Biden to take responsibility for his administration’s handling of the US border with Mexico, and urging the US to “close down” any “Chinese police station”.
The country and to discourage widespread use of TikTok — including promoting a ban on its use on federal government devices. The anti-Semitism resolution comes directly from white supremacist Nick Fuentes, who dined late last year with hip-hop artist Kanye West and former President Donald Trump, as well as Reps. Cory Bush, D-Mo., and Ilhan Omar, D-Minn. ., and Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich. . Dhillon supporter Oscar Brock said he is committed to working with McDaniel to push for more party transparency after the election. “She’s not a bad person,” he said.
“I mean, she’s not bad. I just wanted to win more elections.” Looking ahead to 2024, Brock said the RNC has “the ability to get back on track,” but the party remains an open question. In his message to voters back home, Brock said: “We did everything in our power to get people to vote for change.”