by Eric Lendrum
Recent reports indicate that incumbent Chairwoman of the Republican National Committee (RNC), Ronna Romney McDaniel, is planning to stay in office by seeking a fourth term, despite calls for her resignation following a disastrous midterm performance by the Republican Party.
As reported by The Daily Caller, McDaniel allegedly has the backing of at least 100 of the RNC’s 168 committee members, an outright majority that would secure her victory against any possible challengers. If she is re-elected at the RNC’s next national meeting in January, she will become the longest-serving RNC chair in history, surpassing her predecessor Reince Preibus, who himself set a record by serving three consecutive two-year terms.
However, McDaniel – the niece of former presidential nominee and current Senator from Utah Mitt Romney – has become one of the primary targets of backlash from the Republican base after the party’s disappointing results in Tuesday’s midterm elections. Although McDaniel and other party leaders promised a “red wave” that would see the party take control of both the House of Representatives and the Senate, the Democrats managed to narrowly keep their Senate majority; Republicans now appear on-track for a narrow House majority, potentially no greater than two or three seats above the 218-seat threshold.
Despite these reports, several prominent Republican figures have already been floated as potential challengers to McDaniel’s bid for a fourth term. The most prominent names include Matt Schlapp, a close ally of President Donald Trump and Chairman of the American Conservative Union (ACU) which organizes the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) every year; Schlapp has overseen CPAC’s drastic expansion to two major conferences per year, as well as extending to various overseas conferences in friendly nations.
Another name that has gained traction for a bid against McDaniel is outgoing Congressman Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.), whose bid for Governor of New York this year saw him come within five points of unseating incumbent Governor Kathy Hochul (D-N.Y.); despite ultimately losing, Zeldin’s campaign has been widely credited for the GOP flipping four House seats in the Empire State. Congressman Zeldin, another ally of President Trump, is already reportedly exploring a bid for RNC chair.
McDaniel is not the only target for ousting in GOP leadership. Following the midterm results, there have been calls from within Congress to replace both party leaders in the House and Senate. In the House of Representatives, Congressman Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) has vowed to not support current Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) in his bid for Speaker of the House; Congressman Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) is reportedly considering a challenge against McCarthy himself.
And in the Senate, Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) and Senator-elect Eric Schmitt (R-Mo.) have both pledged to oppose Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) the next time he tries to run for Senate Majority Leader.
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