Trump-endorsed Michael Whatley makes bid to become RNC chair

 February 27, 2024

Donald Trump's pick to replace Ronna McDaniel as Republican National Committee chair, Michael Whatley, made his candidacy official on Monday.

Whatley, who chairs the North Carolina GOP, sent a letter to the RNC's 168 members laying out his priorities ahead of the presidential election in November.

“I have been truly honored to receive President Trump’s endorsement for this position and I hope to earn your vote as we undertake the crucial work of winning up and down the ballot in 2024,” he wrote.

Trump's RNC pick

Whatley has already faced media backlash for endorsing Trump's claim that the 2020 election was stolen.

In his letter to RNC members, Whatley emphasized the need to "protect the ballot" nearly four years after the COVID pandemic ushered in sweeping changes to how Americans vote.

"We will work around the clock to file aggressive litigation where needed, recruit and train tens of thousands of poll watchers and poll workers and hold Democrat officials accountable in court when they try to subvert election integrity," he wrote.

Whatley also said Republicans should be "laser-focused on registering new voters, pushing voters to the polls, and taking advantage of every opportunity to run up our margin in key states across the country.”

Trump has endorsed Whatley to chair the RNC, along with Trump's daughter-in-law Lara Trump as co-chair, and Trump campaign adviser Chris LaCivita as chief operating officer.

GOP embraces Trump

Current RNC chair Ronna McDaniel announced her resignation Monday following Trump's dominant victory in the South Carolina primary, which all but secured his status as the presumptive Republican nominee for president in 2024.

McDaniel confirmed that she would step aside on March 8.

"The RNC has historically undergone change once we have a nominee and it has always been my intention to honor that tradition," she said.

Trump had hinted at changes at the RNC ahead of McDaniel's formal resignation announcement.

McDaniel faced backlash over the party's lackluster election results, particularly in the 2022 midterms, as well as financing. The RNC began the year with its lowest cash reserves in a decade.

The shakeup at the RNC is the latest sign that Trump's hold on the GOP is stronger than ever. One of Trump's top Republican critics, Senator John Thune (Sd.). endorsed Trump on Sunday.

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