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Ronna McDaniel says she will seek re-election at RNC as rivals eye her job

Mercedes Schlapp and Lee Zeldin are among those said to be considering bids for the party's top job after a disappointing midterm in advance of the 2024 election.
Ronna McDaniel, the GOP chairwoman, speaks during the Republican National Committee winter meeting on Feb. 4, 2022, in Salt Lake City.
Ronna McDaniel, the GOP chairwoman, speaks at the Republican National Committee winter meeting in Salt Lake City on Feb. 4.Rick Bowmer / AP file

WASHINGTON — Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel said Monday that she will seek re-election to a fourth term, even as potential rivals are being encouraged to mount campaigns for the post.

McDaniel made the announcement on a call with RNC members from around the country, a person familiar with her remarks confirmed. Politico first reported McDaniel’s decision.

But in the immediate aftermath of a rough midterm election, some Republican insiders would like to see a shake-up at the party committee for the 2024 presidential election, multiple sources say. And the early jockeying is underway.

Mercedes Schlapp speaks alongside her husband Matt Schlapp at CPAC in Dallas on Aug. 4, 2022.
Mercedes Schlapp speaks alongside her husband, Matt Schlapp, at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Dallas on Aug. 4.Dylan Hollingsworth / Bloomberg via Getty Images file

American Conservative Union President Matt Schlapp and his wife, Mercedes Schlapp, a former Trump White House official, have discussed the job with allies, said two people familiar with the calls. The Schlapps are close to former President Donald Trump, who is expected to announce Tuesday that he will run again in 2024.

“We have fielded calls,” Matt Schlapp told NBC News on Monday. Neither he nor Mercedes Schlapp is ruling out a possible bid. “My wife would be fantastic” in the role, he said. At a time when Republicans have made new inroads with Latino voters, the election of Mercedes Schlapp, who is Cuban American, could send a powerful signal to Hispanic communities.  

Rep. Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y., at an election night event in New York on Nov. 8, 2022.
Rep. Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y., at an election night event in New York on Nov. 8.Julius Constantine Motal / NBC News

In addition, Rep. Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y., is likely to explore a bid after having heard encouragement from supporters, Zeldin consultant John Brabender said Sunday. Zeldin lost a bid for New York’s governorship last week by a much narrower margin than had been expected, and he has been roundly praised by fellow Republicans for running a competitive race.

David Bossie, a former Trump campaign official whose name has also been floated as a possible chair candidate, did not respond to a text and a call seeking comment about his plans.

McDaniel has held the top GOP post since 2017, after Trump backed her following his election in 2016.

The RNC chair election is scheduled for the party’s winter meeting in January, when the 168 members of the committee vote on their next leader.