RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel expected to win reelection; backers say she unites, builds the party

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DANA POINT, Calif. — The prevailing chatter at the Republican National Committee’s winter meeting is that RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel will easily win an unprecedented fourth term when the votes are tallied Friday.

Her supporters say Mrs. McDaniel’s interpersonal and party-building skills are the reason she will coast to reelection despite a spirited challenge by Harmeet Dhillon, an RNC committeewoman from California.

RNC members, including those from states where the GOP has struggled, say they appreciate how Mrs. McDaniel has paid attention to their needs since she became chair in 2017.

“Ronna has been a very good chair. She’s done very well by the party. She’s raised record amounts of money. She’s been tremendously supportive of many states, particularly states where the Republican Party has not often played very well,” GOP Connecticut Party Chairman Ben Proto told The Washington Times.  

Mr. Proto said Mrs. McDaniel deserves credit for helping build the party. 

“She’s been very supportive of us in Connecticut. We’re a very blue state. We hold no statewide offices, no federal seats, but she chose to come support the party and helped build the party so that for the long term, we are in a position to do well,” he said.

Massachusetts National Committeewoman Janet Fogarty said that Mrs. McDaniel has the “ability to unite the party.”

Mrs. McDaniel has come under fire from party loyalists and conservatives for GOP losses in the 2018 and 2020 elections and the failure to bring forth a red wave in last year’s midterm elections. But she has the pledged support of more than 100 of the RNC’s 168 members — more than enough to win in Friday’s vote.

Ms. Dhillon, who is running on an it’s-time-for-a-change platform and promising a financial overhaul of the national party organization, insists she can prevail and that Mrs. McDaniel’s support has been quietly eroding.

Mike Lindell, the MyPillow CEO and supporter of former President Donald Trump’s claims of a stolen election, also is on the ballot. He is not considered a serious contender.

Ohio Republican National Committeeman Jim Dicke II, a supporter of Mrs. McDaniel, said Ms. Dhillon and Mr. Lindell were not forthcoming enough about who in the RNC would be part of their respective leadership teams.

“We are a republic and members are chosen for us from all different points of view and all different  ‘states,’” Mr. Dicke said. “We are not free to just hire leaders on the outside and need to identify folks who would be our core advisors within the RNC.”

The committee’s 168 members will cast secret ballots Friday to conclude this week’s RNC winter meeting, which is being held at a luxurious seaside resort in Dana Point that overlooks the Pacific Ocean.

Under RNC rules, the winner must capture a majority of the votes. If no one wins in the first round of voting, members will continue to cast ballots until a winner emerges.

The RNC membership is comprised of three representatives from each state and the U.S. territories.

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