Ronna McDaniel, Facing No Opponent, Re-Elected RNC Chairwoman

Loyalists to President Donald Trump were re-elected Friday to lead the Republican party for the next two years, ensuring the outgoing president’s grip on the GOP even as his presidency comes to a chaotic end.

Ronna McDaniel will remain as chairwoman of the Republican National Committee with Tommy Hicks as vice chairman. While McDaniel was unopposed, Hicks easily fought off challenges from three other candidates in what was widely viewed as a proxy fight over Trump’s role in the party.

The RNC elections in Fernandina Beach, Florida came two days after a pro-Trump mob stormed the U.S. Capitol in an attempt to prevent Congress from certifying Democrat Joe Biden as the winner of the 2020 election. Trump said Friday he would not attend Biden’s inauguration and instead mulled the possibility of running again in 2024, suggesting that the movement he built will last beyond the Biden presidency.

“The 75,000,000 great American Patriots who voted for me, AMERICA FIRST, and MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN, will have a GIANT VOICE long into the future,” Trump tweeted Friday. “They will not be disrespected or treated unfairly in any way, shape or form!!!”

McDaniel, a niece of Senator Mitt Romney, who is a longtime Trump antagonist, was an early supporter of Trump’s presidential campaign in 2015 as the then-chairwoman of the Michigan Republican Party. When Trump picked Reince Priebus as his first chief of staff in 2017, he endorsed McDaniel as Priebus’s replacement.

Hicks, a Texas private equity investor, helped to found Trump’s super PAC and is a longtime friend of Donald Trump Jr.

The chair of the party’s highest governing body is usually hand-picked by the president, but the end of a presidency has historically coincided with a change in party leadership. McDaniel is only the second RNC chair to win a third term, following Priebus’s six years during the Barack Obama presidency.

“Being chair of the Republican National Committee has been an honor of the lifetime, and I’m so honored to be re-elected,” McDaniel said in a tweet. “We have a lot of work to do heading into 2022 and I’m ready to make sure Republicans up and down the ballot have the resources they need to win!”

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