Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel is considering running for reelection for a fourth term leading her party in 2023, and she has received encouragement from former President Donald Trump, according to two people familiar with the discussions.
McDaniel met with Trump recently to discuss the possibility of staying on another two years after her current term ends following the midterm elections. McDaniel, who has also received encouragement from some committee members, has told people that she is inclined to run again if the party fares well in the election.
It’s a turnabout for McDaniel, who privately told RNC members in 2020 that she was planning for this to be her final two-year term as chair. But Trump appeared to hint at his support for McDaniel in a video played for RNC members gathered for the committee’s annual spring meeting in Memphis. The former president lavished praise on McDaniel for doing a “tremendous job” and said that “conservatives are united” behind her.
Should McDaniel serve another term, she would become the longest serving RNC chair in recent history.
Those close to McDaniel stressed that she doesn’t plan to decide her future at the committee until after the November elections. The RNC will vote for the next chair at its annual winter meeting, to be held Jan. 2023.
“The RNC chairwoman, members, and staff are solely focused on winning in 2022 and taking control of the House and Senate. Any speculation beyond that is premature and a distraction to our unified goal,” said Richard Walters, an RNC senior adviser.
Speculation has swirled in recent weeks that another pro-Trump figure, David Bossie, is also interested in the chair role. And Bossie, an RNC member from Maryland and the president of Citizens United, has taken on a high profile in recent weeks.
He recently led the successful — and controversial — push for the RNC to censure Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, an outspoken Trump critic. Last week, Bossie released a new movie accusing Facebook of meddling in the 2020 election. The film debuted at a party at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate last week, which the former president and other members of his inner circle attended.
Bossie declined to comment. In February, he told Vanity Fair that he had “no plans to run for chair of the RNC,” and that “folks trying to pit Ronna and I against each other will not succeed.”
A person close to Bossie said he was open to running for the post should McDaniel forego reelection.
While Trump does not technically have the power to determine who serves as RNC chair, his endorsement is important. The election is determined by the committee’s 168 members, with whom the former president has major influence.
Trump gave McDaniel a key endorsement when she ran for reelection following the 2020 election. At the time, McDaniel faced criticism from some corners of the party that he was beholden to Trump and that the committee needed a chair who was neutral, which she has assured members she is in accordance with party rules.
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