Trump Gets His Way: Departure of Longtime RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel Announced

Trump Gets His Way: Departure of Longtime RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel Announced

As expected, Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel announced Monday that she would step down from her post during the RNC’s spring training meeting on March 8.

McDaniel has been the leader of the national committee since 2017, and will be the first committee chairperson in “many years” to step aside during an election year, according to The New York Times.

McDaniel had reportedly told former President Donald Trump that she was planning to remain in the position only through the South Carolina Republican primary.

That occurred on Saturday, with Trump beating out his only significant remaining primary rival, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, by just over 20 points in her home state.

Trump has said publicly that he wanted Michael Whatley, who currently chairs the North Carolina Republican Party and serves as the national committee’s general counsel, to replace McDaniel.

He has also suggested that Lara Trump, his daughter-in-law, should replace the current co-chair, Drew McKissick, as the party requires the chair and co-chair to be “opposite sexes,” according to ABC News.

Some had speculated that McKissick would be the next chair, but he appeared to downplay that speculation when asked Saturday evening at Trump’s South Carolina victory party about potentially competing with Whatley.

“I’m a team guy,” he told ABC. “I’m going to work with the campaign and the RNC. Period. End of discussion.”

McDaniel had previously led the Republican Party in Michigan prior to Trump’s 2016 victory there when Trump chose Reince Priebus, who had led the committee, to be his first chief of staff.

“I have decided to step aside at our spring training on March 8 in Houston to allow our nominee to select a chair of their choosing,” McDaniel said in a statement to the Times. “The R.N.C. has historically undergone change once we have a nominee, and it has always been my intention to honor that tradition.

“I remain committed to winning back the White House and electing Republicans up and down the ballot in November,” she added.

McDaniel thanked Trump for his support, and he referred to her as a “friend” on social media two weeks ago after a long meeting with her, the Times noted.

“I think she did great when she ran Michigan for me. I think she did OK, initially, in the RNC. I would say right now, there’ll probably be some changes made,” Trump said Feb. 4 on Fox News Channel’s “Sunday Morning Futures,” The Associated Press noted at the time.

For her part, Haley didn’t seem excited about the possibility of Trump hand-picking the successor to McDaniel, who is Sen. Mitt Romney’s niece.

“I would hope that the people in the RNC know that they have the responsibility to put in people in the RNC who are going to look out in the best interest of all of the Republican Party, not just one person,” Haley said, according to ABC.

“It has been the honor and privilege of my life to serve the Republican National Committee for seven years as Chairwoman to elect Republicans and grow our Party,” McDaniel said in her statement.

“Some of my proudest accomplishments include firing Nancy Pelosi, winning the popular vote in 2022, creating an Election Integrity Department, building the committee’s first small dollar grassroots donor program, strengthening our state parties through our Growing Republican Organizations to Win program, expanding the Party through minority outreach at our community centers, and launching Bank Your Vote to get Republicans to commit to voting early,” she said.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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