AHeading Friday’s vote for the next chair of the Republican National Committee, RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel is facing challenges from MAGA Republicans that reflect a growing level of divergence within the party.
McDaniel, chairwoman of the RNC since 2017 and niece of U.S. Sen. Mitt Romney, is facing a backlash from members of former President Donald Trump’s “Make America Great Again” movement, including Trump’s lawyer and RNC committee member Harmeet Dhillon, McDaniel’s primary challenger in his re-election bid.
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Dhillon has accused McDaniel of religious bigotry, persistent waste and has privately claimed he can control the former president, allegations McDaniel denies, according to the Associated Press. My Pillow CEO and Trump ally Mike Lindell is also in the running for RNC chairmanship.
The GOP in states like Nebraska and Washington have backed Dhillon in his bid to unseat the incumbent, the Hill reported, while McDaniel has been backed by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), a group of anti- -abortion and more. more than 150 major GOP donors.
Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel appears on the “Fox & friends” TV show in New York on Thursday, May 24, 2018.
(AP Photo/Richard Drew)
Trump has not made a public endorsement, but he and his team are privately backing McDaniel, whom he tapped for the post shortly after his 2016 victory, the Associated Press reported.
Friday’s RNC meeting to choose its next leader comes at a crucial time for the GOP. Many see the infighting and differences of opinion as damaging to the party, especially ahead of next year’s presidential election.
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And McDaniel has faced a growing number of Republicans calling for her to step down, particularly after a poor midterm performance in 2022 in which the party failed to regain control of the Senate and only won a slim majority in the Chamber The midterm elections led several conservatives to openly question McDaniel’s leadership, with some directly calling for new leadership.
McDaniel’s spokespeople have remained confident she will be re-elected, pointing to a letter distributed by about 100 RNC members in November that showed they would support her candidacy. The RNC is made up of 168 members, meaning any candidate must get 85 votes to win the top leadership position.