Ronna McDaniel, chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, has informed former President Donald J. Trump that she intends to step down as RNC Chair shortly after the South Carolina primary on February 24, according to the New York Times.
Multiple people involved with the conversations told the NY Times that Trump is likely to choose Michael Whatley, the chairman of the North Carolina Republican Party, as her replacement.
However, under the committee’s procedures, Trump cannot just install someone; instead, a new election is required.
Former RNC Chair candidate Harmeet Dhillon, an attorney, has stated that she is not interested in the position and will continue her legal work.
Ronna McDaniel has faced months of pressure and a campaign to topple her by Trump-allied forces, and growing frustration in the Trump camp about the Republican National Committee’s depleted finances as the general election cycle begins early.
According to others who have spoken with Trump, he likes Whatley for one reason above all: he is “a stop the steal guy,” as one of them put it.
He supports Trump’s accusations about widespread voter fraud, and Trump believes he did well in delivering North Carolina, a 2020 battleground state, to him.
Whatley has boasted that Republican election security procedures in North Carolina prevented Democrats from cheating.
He also serves as the Republican National Committee’s chief counsel and has supported efforts to adopt new voting laws.
Trump and his associates have made election security a trademark issue that they want to promote in the general election.
Trump has told allies that he believes the Republican National Committee should spend more money on “election integrity” in the 2024 contest.
Trump’s campaign is also looking to hire poll watchers, as the North Carolina GOP did during the 2022 midterm elections.
Trump has criticized the Republican National Committee’s election efforts as insufficient, despite the party’s investment in establishing a full-time “Election Integrity Department,” which has been involved in 77 lawsuits in 23 states, according to the party.
The news comes after the RNC Chief of Staff Mike Reed announced on Tuesday that he intends to retire.
Reed has served as the committee’s chief of staff since January 2022.
In an email to staff members on Tuesday acquired by Politico, he stated that he wanted to prioritize his “growing family [that] needs and deserves my attention.”
“Two people familiar with Reed’s move say it has been in the works for around a year,” Politico reported.
“They said he accepted his new job with Cornerstone, a government relations and public affairs firm, last fall but chose to remain at the RNC through the committee’s winter meeting last week in Las Vegas.
“But the move also comes amid growing speculation that former President Donald Trump, the strong frontrunner for the Republican Party nomination, will push for a shakeup in leadership at the committee,” the report added.
“And Reed himself acknowledged that timing element in his note to staffers.”
“I know the timing of this news comes as many rumors in the press swirl and we prepare to merge with the presumptive nominee. I assure you, the RNC is in an incredibly strong position,” Reed wrote.
The Politico report also noted that Donald Trump had recently met with Ronna McDaniel.
“Trump met with RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel at his Mar-a-Lago estate on Monday, one day after he said in a Fox News interview he expected there would be ‘changes’ at the RNC,” Politico noted.
“After his meeting with McDaniel, the former president wrote a post on Truth Social that sidestepped the question of whether McDaniel would remain as chair through the election.”
“Ronna is now Head of the RNC, and I’ll be making a decision the day after the South Carolina Primary as to my recommendations for RNC Growth,” Trump wrote.
Reed discussed the possibility of changes in his note to fellow staff members.
“We always knew there would be some changes once we had a presumptive nominee, and we welcome that,” he wrote.
“Chairman McDaniel has had great conversations with President Trump over the last few days and weeks.
“She will continue to lead this organization to merge seamlessly should he be the nominee.”
However, there are growing calls for Ronna McDaniel to be fired as RNC Chair.
New York’s special election in the third district this month, following the ouster of George Santos from the House of Representatives, has become the subject of intense controversy.
That is due in large part to the candidate the Republican Party selected to take his place as a candidate for the open seat: A registered Democrat.
Mazi Pilip, the Republican nominee for New York’s 3rd Congressional District, has served as a legislator in Nassau County for two years.
As the Queens Chronicle notes, she is registered as a Democrat.
“A registered Democrat who caucuses with the Republicans in the Legislature, Pilip emerged as the GOP candidate for the Feb. 13 special election after former Rep. George Santos was expelled on Dec. 1, in light of his falsified resume and questionable financial history,” the Chronicle reports.
The Republican Party’s control of the House of Representatives is tenuous due to the abrupt departure of three Congressmen: Former Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), Rep. Bill Johnson (R-OH), and Rep. George Santos (R-NY), who was expelled by the House.
“As of January 21, 2024, there were 219 Republicans and 213 Democrats in the House, giving Republicans a seven-member advantage with New York’s 3rd as one of three vacancies.”
RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel has presided over three disastrous Republican showings in national elections, including: The loss of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives in the 2018 midterm elections, the failure to successfully challenge the 2020 presidential election defeat, and the non-materialization of a projected “red wave” election in 2022.
Bye, bye, Ronna. Your days of presiding over devastating Republican election defeats will not be missed.