Ronna McDaniel Wins Reelection as RNC Chair After Contentious Race

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Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel will retain her position for a fourth term after defeating her two challengers in the party’s Jan. 27 election.

Of the RNC’s 168 voting members, McDaniel garnered the support of 111, beating out California attorney Harmeet Dhillon and MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, who received 51 votes and four votes, respectively. Former Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.), who was not a contender, received one vote.

The final vote reveals an uptick in support for the incumbent chairwoman since November, when she circulated a letter of support signed by 101 committee members. With this win, McDaniel now becomes the longest-serving RNC chair since the Civil War.

“Mike and Harmeet … thank you for the race you ran, for the leaders you are in our party, we are so grateful for you,” McDaniel said after being announced the winner on the final day of the RNC’s winter meeting held at a beach resort in Dana Point, California.

“We need all of us,” she noted as her opponents joined her on stage. “We heard you grassroots—we know. We heard Harmeet, we heard Mike Lindell, but with all of us united and with all of us going together, the Democrats are going to hear us in 2024, when we take back the White House and the Senate.”

A Contentious Race

Though McDaniel will undoubtedly seek to unify the party heading into the 2024 presidential election, the divisions exposed by the bitter campaign are unlikely to be forgotten soon.

Sparked by a disappointing 2022 election cycle, calls for a change in direction grew in the months leading up to the chairmanship election, with Republicans in Texas and Alabama declaring that they had “no confidence” in McDaniel’s leadership.

Dhillon and Lindell both entered the race promising change, though it was Dhillon who ended up posing the largest threat to McDaniel in her bid for reelection.

“I think that the party needs to realize that the party has become a populist party,” Dhillon said in announcing her campaign. “The base of the party demands populist messages that speak to them and not Chamber of Commerce messages, not neocon messages, not warmonger messages.”

“I’m afraid that the base of our party is not getting what it needs from our leadership,” she added.

By Samantha Flom

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