Ronna McDaniel, R.N.C. Chairwoman, Plans to Step Down – The New York Times
Donald Trump is likely to back a supporter of his false claims of election fraud, Michael Whatley, the head of the North Carolina G.O.P., to replace her.
Maggie Haberman, Shane Goldmacher, Jonathan Swan and
The chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, Ronna McDaniel, has told former President Donald J. Trump she is planning to step down shortly after the South Carolina primary on Feb. 24, according to two people familiar with the plans.
Mr. Trump is then likely to promote the chairman of the North Carolina Republican Party, Michael Whatley, as her replacement, according to several people familiar with the discussions. Under the arcana of the committee’s rules, however, Mr. Trump cannot simply install someone. A new election must take place, and Mr. Whatley could face internal party dissent.
Ms. McDaniel has faced months of pressure, a campaign from Trump-allied forces to unseat her and growing dissatisfaction and anxiety in the Trump camp about the strained finances of the R.N.C. as the general election cycle begins early.
Mr. Trump likes Mr. Whatley for one overwhelming reason, according to people who have discussed him with the former president: He is “a stop the steal guy,” as one of the people described him. He endorses Mr. Trump’s false claims about mass voter fraud and Mr. Trump believes he did a good job delivering North Carolina, a 2020 swing state, to him.
Mr. Whatley has baselessly claimed that election security efforts from Republicans in North Carolina stopped Democrats from cheating. He is also currently the general counsel at the Republican National Committee and has endorsed efforts to develop new voting laws.
Mr. Trump and his associates have made focusing on election security a signature point they plan to push in a general election. There has been no evidence of widespread fraud related to the 2020 voting, and Mr. Trump’s allies lost dozens of court challenges. Mr. Trump has told associates that he thinks the R.N.C. needs to spend more money on “election integrity” in the 2024 race. Mr. Trump’s team is also focused on hiring teams of poll watchers, which the North Carolina G.O.P. did during the midterms in 2022.
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