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US Republican National Committee chairwoman resigns

Ronna McDaniel has revealed plans to leave her post, clearing the way for Donald Trump to tighten his grip on the party

Ronna McDaniel has announced her resignation as chairwoman of the Republican National Committee (RNC), signaling that former US President Donald Trump has essentially sewn up the party’s 2024 nomination and will gain tighter control over its leadership and finances heading into the November election.

McDaniel revealed her departure on Monday, issuing a statement saying she will step down from her post on March 8, three days after the so-called Super Tuesday primaries in 15 states. Her deputy, RNC Co-Chairman Drew McKissick, also is resigning, effective on the same day.

“The RNC has historically undergone change once we have a nominee, and it has always been my intention to honor that tradition,” McDaniel said. “I remain committed to winning back the White House and electing Republicans up and down the ballot in November.”

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Trump will not have enough delegates to officially clinch the Republican Party’s 2024 presidential nomination by March 8, but he has a commanding lead in the race. He dominated the primaries and caucuses that have been held so far – in five states and the US Virgin Islands – gaining a 110-20 delegate lead over challenger Nikki Haley. More than 1,000 delegates will be up for grabs between now and the end of Super Tuesday, potentially putting Trump in position to seal the party’s nomination when four more states hold their primaries on March 12.

Trump has already endorsed the chairman of North Carolina’s Republican Party, Michael Whatley, to replace McDaniel when the RNC holds a vote. He also recommended his daughter-in-law, Lara Trump, to take McKissick’s job as co-chair, and selected one of his advisers, Chris LaCivita, to become the RNC’s chief operating officer.

The ex-president, who picked McDaniel to take the helm as the party’s chairwoman after he won the 2016 election, has hinted in recent weeks that it’s time for a change in leadership. McDaniel hailed her success in helping Republicans to win control of the House of Representatives in 2022, but she has faced criticism for her handling of the RNC’s finances and the party’s loss of Senate seats and governorships.

Former Republican candidate Vivek Ramaswamy, one of the contenders to serve as Trump’s vice presidential running mate, called for McDaniel’s resignation at a debate in November. “We’ve become a party of losers at the end of the day,” he argued. “There’s a cancer in the Republican establishment.”

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Haley, who served as ambassador to the UN in the Trump administration, has accused him of trying to take over the RNC and use its money to pay his legal bills. The former president faces four criminal indictments and has been ordered to pay massive penalties in civil lawsuits.

McDaniel’s announcement came one day after the political network backed by billionaire Charles Koch said it would no longer provide funding to Haley after her loss to Trump in Saturday’s South Carolina primary because it does not see a way to help her win the Republican nomination.

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February 26, 2024 at 11:52PM

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