Republican National Committee Leadership Elections Heating Up; Ronna McDaniel Under Attack


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Brandon Level

On January 23rd, the Republican National Committee (RNC) and its 168 delegates from around the nation will vote for the next RNC chairman. Currently, Ronna McDaniel holds the position of Chairwoman of the RNC, but recently she has been met with fierce competition, unlike her previous reelection campaigns.

Ronna began her reign over the RNC in 2017 after Donald Trump won the 2016 presidential race and warmed up to the idea of having her in the position. Since then, she has served three consecutive terms with no real challenges to her spot as chairwoman—that is, until now.

In an abysmal letdown for the Republican Party, what was projected to be a “red wave” was really just a “red trickle,” as some media pundits called it. Republicans very narrowly took the house and couldn’t manage to take the Senate even after Democrat Joe Biden’s two-year tenure in the White House and as the leader of the Democratic party. This shows some obvious problems within Republican leadership, causing Republican voters and representatives alike to call out the RNC for this letdown.

Recently, major calls for change in the Grand Ole Party’s (GOP) leadership have come about. Specifically, at the RNC, McDaniel is facing challenges to her position. Popular Fox News host Tucker Carlson and Florida Representative Matt Gaetz have called for leadership change in the RNC, to name a couple.

Former Vice Chairwoman of the California Republican Party, lawyer, and Republican Party official Harmeet Dhillon has risen to become the number one challenger for McDaniels’ RNC position. Last week, she announced her candidacy for the position on Fox News.

Dhillon said that under her reign, Republicans would be able to bring in the base and lean into the new, changing movement in our country. “The party has become a populist party. The base of the party demands populist messages that speak to them and not Chamber of Commerce messages, not neocon messages, not warmonger messages. And I’m afraid that the base of our party is not getting what it needs from our leadership,” she said. “Republicans are tired of losing and I think that we really need to radically reshape our leadership in order to win. We can’t keep running elections as we did in the 90s and the 2000s.”

Many people compare her sudden appearance on the political stage to Trump’s during the 2016 presidential election. Trump leaned into the populist message, which led to his unexpected win, causing many to think that Harmeet could do the same here in just a few weeks.

It won’t be easy to win this race, though. Ronna McDaniels’ reelection campaign has already secured endorsements from Republican Representative-elect Monica de La Cruz of Texas, Republican Rep. Tony Gonzalez of Texas, Republican Rep. Michelle Steel of California, conservative radio show host Hugh Hewitt, former Trump White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, former Arizona GOP Senate candidate Blake Masters, Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares, former RNC Chair Reince Priebus, Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser, etc.
Publicly secured are 107 pledged votes for McDaniel from the 168 RNC delegates that have a say in electing the next chairman. This gives her a solid ⅔ of the RNC delegates’ votes.

As Ronna McDaniel is set to glide to a fourth term as chair of the Republican National Committee next month, she should be on the lookout for shifts in patterns because Dhillon could be right behind her.
New Jersey Republican National Committeeman Bill Palatucci told The Washington Times that Mrs. McDaniel is in a strong position, but things could certainly change prior to the vote.

“RNC members are experts at looking you in the eye and saying, “Oh, I am with you’ and, in a secret ballot going into the voting booth and slitting your throat …So I take all that stuff with a grain of salt.”

Come January 23rd, the RNC will choose a new leader to take them through the next presidential election cycle in 2024.