Ronna McDaniel launches bid for third term as GOP chair

Ronna McDaniel launches bid for third term as GOP chair
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Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel announced Wednesday she’s launching a bid for a third term leading the GOP.

McDaniel’s campaign for another two-year term comes after an unexpectedly strong election cycle in which Republicans likely kept the Senate and significantly cut Democrats’ House majority, though they still lost the White House. Should she remain atop the RNC, it would also ensure that President TrumpDonald TrumpOhio Republican who voted to impeach Trump says he won't seek reelection Youngkin breaks with Trump on whether Democrats will cheat in the Virginia governor's race Trump endorses challenger in Michigan AG race MORE has a key ally leading the party has he explores another White House run in 2022.

In a letter to the 168 members of the RNC announcing her candidacy, McDaniel noted the support she has from Trump, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellLindsey Graham: Police need 'to take a firm line' with Sept. 18 rally attendees Manchin keeps Washington guessing on what he wants CEOs urge Congress to raise debt limit or risk 'avoidable crisis' MORE (R-Ky.) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyOvernight Hillicon Valley — Scrutiny over Instagram's impact on teens Top Democrats tout California recall with an eye toward 2022 Former national security officials warn antitrust bills could help China in tech race MORE (R-Calif.). McDaniel is virtually assured to win another term given that she already has endorsements from over 120 members and the strong backing of Trump, who despite his loss maintains an iron grip on the party’s base.

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“I have reached out to many of you to discuss the numerous strengths of our Party, as well as areas where we can improve. I have learned a lot from my conversations with you all, and I will continue making calls until I speak to each of you personally,” McDaniel wrote. 

“Furthermore, while I am proud to have the support of President Trump, Senate Majority Leader McConnell, and House Minority Leader McCarthy in my bid for re-election, it is the endorsement of the 168 members of this committee that matters most, and I am incredibly humbled to have the endorsements of over 120 members at this time," she continued.

McDaniel was first selected by Trump to lead the RNC four years ago and has since emerged as one of his staunchest allies, including by supporting his campaign’s various legal battles over evidence-challenged claims of voter fraud across the country in the most recent elections.

She said the RNC will “continue to fight for President Trump and work to bring transparency to the election process with recounts and legal challenges ongoing across the country” and touted her accomplishments, including expanding party structure to include over 3,000 field staff and 2.6 million grassroots volunteers and boosting the RNC’s fundraising to rake in $1.3 billion for GOP candidates under her leadership.

“Over the last four years, the RNC made strategic and targeted investments to connect with voters in their communities, and it paid dividends. President Trump earned more minority votes than any Republican candidate in decades, and a record number of women, minorities and veterans were elected to office. This is a legacy our Party can be proud of, and we must continue to build on this historic momentum,” she said. 

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In a preview of what a third term could look like, McDaniel said she would create a committee to explore a transition from the “biased” Commission on Presidential Debates, which Trump said favored President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump endorses challenger in Michigan AG race On The Money: Democrats get to the hard part Health Care — GOP attorneys general warn of legal battle over Biden's vaccine mandate MORE in their two debates, and invest in building up state parties.

Should McDaniel win a third term as anticipated, she will oversee a midterm cycle in which Republicans are expected to perform well and possibly even retake the House. However, she maintained she would remain neutral in GOP primaries and instead focus on ensuring victories in the general elections.

“There are important elections ahead and I want to be clear: As is the RNC's policy, the Party will remain neutral and focus on laying the groundwork. I will work to ensure that all Republican candidates can be successful, and the Party is in a strong position,” she said.

“It has been the honor of my life to serve as RNC Chair, and I am humbly asking for each of your support for re-election. Our committee is made up of so many great friends and leaders who love this country, and I love talking and working with you all. Together, I have no doubt we will build an even bigger, more robust Party," McDaniel added.

Morgan Chalfant contributed to this report.