Ronna Romney McDaniel, Mitt Romney's Niece, Has Been Named RNC Chair — REPORT
President-elect Donald Trump wants to appoint Mitt Romney's niece to lead the Republican National Committee, now that Trump has tapped current RNC chair Reince Priebus to be his chief of staff. Ronna Romney McDaniel currently serves as the chairwoman of the Michigan Republican Party, and is expected to be confirmed to the interim post of deputy chair of the RNC, according to CNN.
"I'm excited to have a highly effective leader in Ronna McDaniel as RNC deputy chair, and I look forward to her serving as the party's chairman in 2017," Trump said in a statement. "Ronna has been extremely loyal to our movement and her efforts were critical to our tremendous victory in Michigan, and I know she will bring the same passion to the Republican National Committee."
McDaniel has led Michigan's Republican Party since 2015, and was a vocal Trump supporter throughout his campaign, according to the Detroit News. She frequently "warmed up" the crowd before Trump took the stage at campaign rallies in the state. After helping Michigan give its electoral votes to a Republican for the first time since 1988, McDaniel was reportedly planning to seek reelection as the state party chairwoman, but now will become RNC deputy chair until Priebus formally steps down next year to work in Trump's White House. Her deputy co-chair is expected to be Bob Paduchik, the man in charge of Trump's Ohio campaign, reports Detroit News.
If she is ultimately elected to serve as the RNC chair, McDaniel will become only the second woman in the party's history to hold such a position. The first woman to lead the RNC was Mary-Louise Smith, who became RNC chair in 1974.
Shortly after the national GOP announced her name, McDaniel took to Twitter to echo one of the president-elect's campaign promises: That under his leadership, America would start "winning" again.
McDaniel clearly differs in her perspective on Trump from her uncle, former presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who publicly opposed Trump and issued several scathing statements during the campaign. After Trump won the Electoral College, however, Romney attended a high-end dinner and meetings with Trump, reportedly discussing the possibility of Romney taking a cabinet position. (After those meetings, Romney told reporters that Trump had not picked him to be Secretary of State.)