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Republicans to stamp out internal feud to boost election chances with new RNC head vote


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Republicans are hoping to resolve a bitter leadership feud threatening to expose deep-seeped division within the party by electing the new head of the Republican National Committee on Friday. The GOP has been struggling to come together since the disappointing results of the midterms, which saw several Republican frontrunners fail to secure a seat in either the House of Representatives or the Senate. The feud has been further exacerbated by concerns allies of former President Donald Trump could seek to upend current RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel’s bid to be reelected.

Attempts to prevent McDaniel’s confirmation for a fourth term have been led by Trump attorney Harmeet Dhillon, who has accused the RNC chair of religious bigotry, chronic misspending and privately claiming she can control the former president. McDaniel has denied the claims.

Trump has not officially endorsed any of the candidates, which also include My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell, but his team are privately advocating for McDaniel, whom he tapped for the position shortly after his 2016 victory.

However, several Trump loyalists blame McDaniel, the niece of Utah Sen. Mitt Romney, for some of the party’s recent struggles.

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Dhillon has argued Republican voters are ready for a change in leadership and want McDaniel, who has been in charge of the RNC since 2016, to go.

She told AP: “For those members of the party who vote not with what the people in their state want but with what their own self-interest is, the next time they’re up for election, it’s going to be an issue.”

But McDaniel warned threats to her leadership could be exploited by the Democrats as a sign of divisiveness within the party.

She said: “That sounds like a threat. There’s nobody who’s enjoyed this more than Democrats. I know, because I love it when they’re fighting each other.”

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The contest between Dhillon and McDaniel is shaping up to be yet another test of how influential Donald Trump still is after losing the White House to Joe Biden.

Trump was accused of contributing to the defeat of several candidates in the midterms after the majority of those the former president endorsed lost their races.

He later failed to clamp down on rebellion from his supporters when House Republicans came to blows over the election of the new speaker, with Kevin McCarty going through several days of balloting before securing the seat.

A group of Florida Republicans from the party’s MAGA wing last week attempted to hold a vote of “no confidence” in McDaniel, which Republican groups in a handful of other states have done in recent weeks as well.


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But the Florida gathering, which drew leading McCarthy detractor Rep. Matt Gaetz, fell far short of reaching the quorum needed to hold an official vote.

President Trump has refrained from weighing in on the RNC chair fight at McDaniel’s request, according to those with direct knowledge of the situation.

They claimed he would endorse her if she asked, but McDaniel’s team currently believes she will win without his public backing, allowing her to maintain a sense of neutrality heading into the 2024 presidential primary season.

According to its bylaws, the RNC must remain neutral in the presidential primary.

Trump is the only announced GOP candidate so far, but other high-profile contenders are expected in the coming months.


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