Beleaguered RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel is reportedly intending to step down. Donald Trump, who has been vocal about the need for changes at the RNC, is likely to back Michael Watley, who currently heads the North Carolina GOP.
McDaniel told Trump she was planning to step down in advance of South Carolina's Republican primary on February 24, The New York Times reports. That contest will see Nikki Haley face off against Trump in her home state. An election will have to be held for the new chair.
McDaniels has been under pressure for months to step down after she failed to deliver the promised red wave in 2022. Recent reports about the RNC's excessive spending also came out, putting further pressure on her to step down.
Her chief of staff stepped down earlier on Tuesday. “I know the timing of this news comes as many rumors in the press swirl and we prepare to merge with the presumptive nominee. I assure you, the RNC is in an incredibly strong position,” Mike Reed said. He will also be stepping down later this month.
This news comes after Trump and McDaniel met together at Trump's Mar-a-Lago on Monday. After that meeting, it was reported that changes would be coming to the RNC. He posted after that meeting that McDaniel was “now Head of the RNC, and I’ll be making a decision the day after the South Carolina Primary as to my recommendations for RNC Growth.”
As to McDaniel's meeting with Trump, Reed said “We always knew there would be some changes once we had a presumptive nominee, and we welcome that,” Reed wrote. “Chairman McDaniel has had great conversations with President Trump over the last few days and weeks. She will continue to lead this organization to merge seamlessly should he be the nominee.”
Watley has been a staunch supporter of Trump since he left the White House in 2020 and delivered the state to Trump in that election. He is also the general counsel at the RNC and has been looking to create new voting laws for that organization.