Donald Trump has selected Ronna Romney McDaniel to lead the Republican National Committee in 2017, the RNC announced in a statement Wednesday.
McDaniel, who currently chairs the Michigan Republican Party, is the niece of 2012 GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney. She will serve as deputy co-chair with Trump’s Ohio State Director Bob Paduchik before taking the reins from current RNC Chair Reince Priebus next year. Trump named Priebus his chief of staff shortly after last month’s election.
“I’m excited to have a highly effective leader in Ronna McDaniel as RNC deputy chair and I look forward to her serving as the party’s chairman in 2017,” Trump said in a statement. “Ronna has been extremely loyal to our movement and her efforts were critical to our tremendous victory in Michigan, and I know she will bring the same passion to the Republican National Committee.”
McDaniel made clear in April that she would pledge her national delegate vote to Trump after he won the Michigan primary, despite her uncle’s opposition to Trump’s candidacy. The former governor of Massachusetts and Trump seem to have improved their relationship since the election, and Romney is now under consideration to became nominated secretary of state.
Trump also won Michigan in the general election, becoming the first Republican since 1988 to do so.
The selection of an RNC insider to continue to run the party is a victory for Priebus, who is believed to have favored appointing someone already working for the GOP.
McDaniel will be the first woman in decades to head the RNC.