On Friday afternoon, Ronna McDaniel won her reelection campaign to be chair of the Republican National Committee. This will be McDaniel's fourth term as the committee's leader.
Of the 167 votes cast, Lee Zeldin received one vote, Mike Lindell received 4, Harmeet Dhillon received 51, and McDaniel received 111.
Following her win, McDaniel invited both Dhillon and Lindell to the stage, saying "Thank you for the race you ran, for the leaders you are in our party. We are so grateful for you."
"We need all of us. We heard you grassroots. We know. We heard Harmeet, we heard Mike Lindell, but with us united and all of us going together, the Democrats are going to hear us in 2024 when we take back the White House and the Senate," she said.
Numerous committee members came forward to nominate McDaniel, with Kim Borders of Kansas saying "for me, this vote is not about polls, or who loves America more or who's going to fight more? It comes down to two questions when it comes to what matters to me. Can I trust you? Can I rely on you? And the answer to those two questions regarding Rhonda McDaniel are yes."
David Bossie of Maryland noted the accomplishments of the party under McDaniel’s leadership, noting Pelosi stepping down as House Speaker after Republicans won the House, "launched the largest election integrity effort by this committee in nearly four decades," and "we raised a record $1.5 billion to support candidates and state parties across the country."
Robin Armstrong of Texas nominated California National Committeewoman Dhillon, saying, "The race for chair of the RNC has never been about blame. It's never been about fault finding. It has always been about putting together the strongest team to win elections for Republican candidates at every level."
"We have the opportunity to elect a chair of the RNC who has the approval and the excitement of all those — almost all of our grassroots activists at home and with this overwhelming support, Harmeet will be in a position to lead with strong winds behind her. Paving the way for big wins in 2024. And truly seeing a red wave."
Lenar Whitney of Louisiana also nominated Mike Lindell, MyPillow CEO, for chair of the RNC, saying that "we appear to many of our faithful constituents" to be "out of touch with their wants and their needs."
The vote comes after months of calls for new leadership in the RNC, with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis noting in a recent interview that "we’ve had three substandard election cycles in a row, ’18, ’20, and ’22."
In December, Harmeet Dhillon announced that she would be running against McDaniel, saying at the time, "After three successive terms of underwhelming results at the polls for the GOP, all the while with leaders congratulating ourselves for outstanding performance, I feel that we owe it to our voters to have a serious debate about the leadership of the party and what we must change to actually win in 2024."
The RNC, under McDaniel’s leadership, revealed that the committee spent millions on private jets, limousines, alcohol, and luxury retreats to achieve three straight cycles of election losses.
In 2021-22 the RNC spent $64,000 at clothing stores, over $500,000 on private jets, and $321,000 on floral arrangements.
A January poll found that nearly 90 percent of Republican voters supported Dhillon as the new chair over McDaniel.
Major RNC donor Mike Rydin penned a letter to all RNC members earlier this month in support of Dhillon, writing that the RNC is becoming less and less effective against "a Democratic Party that is trying to destroy this country."
"We need a leader with the legal experience and expertise to beat the Democrats at their own games, and I think Harmeet Dhillon is that leader," he later wrote.
Dhillon herself slammed the RNC’s lavish location for its meeting, which is being held at the ritzy Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach near Los Angeles.
"At a time of economic catastrophe in our country, when we are losing elections, I would have made a different choice if I were the chair," Dhillon told the Daily Mail, suggesting that she "would have chosen a venue that is easy to get to and also on a par with what our voters and activists would like to see us doing."
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