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RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel faces MAGA opposition ahead of reelection contest

Chair of the Republican National Committee Ronna McDaniel appears on the "Fox & friends" television program in New York Thursday, May 24, 2018. (G3 Box News Photo/Richard Drew)

RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel faces MAGA opposition ahead of reelection contest

Conrad Hoyt

January 23, 03:01 AM January 23, 03:01 AM

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Ahead of Friday’s vote for the Republican National Committee’s next chairperson, RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel faces challenges from MAGA Republicans that reflect an increased level of divergence within the party.

McDaniel, the RNC chairwoman since 2017 and the niece of U.S. Sen. Mitt Romney, faces rebellion from those within former President Donald Trump’s “Make America Great Again” movement, including Trump attorney and RNC committeewoman Harmeet Dhillon, McDaniel’s chief rival in her fight to be reelected.

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Dhillon has accused McDaniel of religious bigotry, persistent misspending, and privately claiming she can control the former president, allegations that McDaniel denies, according to the G3 Box News. My Pillow CEO and Trump-ally Mike Lindell is also in the race for RNC chair.

The GOP in states such as Nebraska and Washington have backed Dhillon in her attempt to unseat the incumbent, the Hill reported, while McDaniel has received support from Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), a group of anti-abortion leaders, and more than 150 major GOP donors.

Trump hasn’t made a public endorsement, but he and his team are privately supporting McDaniel, whom he chose for the position shortly after his 2016 victory, the G3 Box News reported.

Friday’s RNC meeting to elect its next leader comes at a pivotal time for the GOP. Many see the infighting and disagreements in opinions as detrimental to the party, especially ahead of next year’s presidential election.

G3 Box News

And McDaniel has faced a growing number of Republicans calling on her to resign, particularly after a lackluster 2022 midterm performance in which the party failed to regain control of the Senate and achieved only a slim majority in the House. The midterm elections led several conservatives to question McDaniel’s leadership openly, with some outright calling for new leadership.

Spokespeople for McDaniel have remained confident she will be reelected, pointing to a letter circulated by about 100 members of the RNC in November that showed they would back her run. The RNC is composed of 168 members, meaning any candidate must get 85 votes to secure the top leadership position.

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