DANA POINT, Calif. — Ronna McDaniel won re-election to a fourth term as chair of the Republican National Committee on Friday, beating insurgent Harmeet Dhillon in a secret ballot at the party’s annual winter meeting.
McDaniel easily secured a majority of the 168 votes needed to win, with 111 votes to Dhillon’s 51, four for MyPillow founder Mike Lindell and one for former representative Lee Zeldin, RN.Y., who was not candidate.
McDaniel is now on his way to being the longest-serving Republican president since the 19th century. Joins Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., in avoiding challenges to their leadership following disappointing Republican election performance November midterm.
The contest was seemingly a foregone conclusion for months. McDaniel released a letter of endorsement from more than 100 of the RNC’s 168 members shortly after the midterms, an endorsement that led Zeldin to decide against running his own bid to lead the RNC.
But with the secret ballot and Dhillon’s aggressive campaign arguing that McDaniel should not be re-elected after the GOP’s shortcomings in November, members did not rule Dhillon out before the vote. Publicly, approximately 30 RNC members had pledged to Dhillon before the vote.
Lindell, one of the leading election conspirators, launched a long shot but never gained much momentum.
McDaniel’s supporters argued that she was better positioned to move the party forward due to her resource allocation and strong working relationship with state party leaders.
Even with McDaniel as the next president, many RNC members say they expect tensions to continue.
“After this is over tomorrow, it’s not over,” said Jonathan Barnett, an Arkansas RNC committee member who endorsed Dhillon to lead the party. “It’s going to take some time to do some rebuilds, and Harmeet still has a strong voice. All of us who support Harmeet will not leave.»
The RNC also approved a pack of nine resolutions on Friday in a voice vote. They included measures condemning anti-Semitism, opposing ranked-choice voting, calling for President Joe Biden to be held accountable for his administration’s handling of the US border with Mexico, pushing for the US to hold the country. and broadly discourage the use of TikTok, including encouraging a ban on its use on federal government devices.