Ronna McDaniel on Friday won her reelectionbid to lead the Republican National Committee through the 2024 presidential election, defeating Harmeet Dhillon.
McDaniel, the niece of Sen. Mitt Romney (R., Utah), became RNC chairwoman in 2017. She had the endorsement of former president Donald Trump but faced criticism for Republicans’ loss in the 2020 presidential election and unexpectedly poor showing in last year’s midterms. Dhillon, the former vice chairwoman of the California Republican Party and a legal adviser on Trump’s 2020 campaign, said the GOP needs “a lot of changes,” criticizing McDaniel for “losing elections.”
The RNC controls the party’s nominating process and fundraising. It conducts its leadership race by secret ballot.
The race pitted Trump and a likely primary rival, Florida governor Ron DeSantis, against each other. DeSantis in an interview one day before the vote praised Dhillon and said the Republican Party needs “a change.”
Former RNC chairman Reince Priebus told the Associated Press before the vote that McDaniel was “in very good shape to get reelected.” Former RNC adviser Tim Miller, however, told the Los Angeles Times that Dhillon had “more of a shot than what the public expectations” were. While McDaniel had “a huge advantage,” Miller said, Dhillon “tapped into legitimate frustration with the RNC.”
While Trump privately endorsed McDaniel, he did not make a public endorsement, which McDaniel’s team said would allow the chairwoman “to maintain a sense of neutrality heading into the 2024 presidential primary season.” Dhillon also said that, if she won, she would remain neutral in the party’s primaries.
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