An interesting development has occurred regarding who may replace Ronna McDaniel as RNC Chair.
Earlier this week, McDaniel indicated she intends to step down as RNC Chair after the South Carolina primary.
— Wynn Westmoreland CNN (@WynnWs) February 7, 2024
Ever since the news, names have been floated around regarding potential replacements for McDaniel, but recently there have been reports that Trump has a preference of his own.
Ronna McDaniel to step down as RNC chair
Trump is likely to back Michael Watley, who currently heads the North Carolina GOP.https://t.co/rfPjZOeq59
— CHASE STACKS (@CHASEXOFFICIAL) February 7, 2024
The rumor is stirring curiosity about Michael Whatley and what kind of RNC Chair he would be.
Trump is SUPPOSEDLY backing Michael Watley to replace @GOPChairwoman McRomney. Watley currently heads the North Carolina GOP.
We'll have to look into Mr. Watley.
— The Patriot Hammer (@patriot_hammer) February 7, 2024
The Daily Caller recently listed some of the North Carolina GOP Chairman’s previous accolades:
Whatley was elected as state party chairman in June 2019, where he received over 50% support against former Lee County Commissioner Jim Womack, according to The Charlotte Observer. The chairman-elect pledged for a party “reset” ahead of the 2020 election, where he vowed to help re-elect Trump and keep the Senate seat now held by Ted Budd in Republican hands.
During his time as state party chairman, Whatley saw Republican wins for Trump and Sen. Thom Tillis in 2020 and Budd in 2022, as well as the regaining of a GOP supermajority in the state legislature and the flipping of the state Supreme Court, according to the North State Journal.
Trump reportedly favors Whatley for the position, as he’s “a stop the steal guy” who could deliver election integrity efforts as RNC chair ahead of November, when the former president is likely to face-off with President Joe Biden again, the NYT reported. The former president admires Whatley’s leadership in the swing-state that Trump narrowly won in 2020, according to the NYT.
The reactions from Trump supporters concerning the Michael Whatley rumor have been mixed. Some found Trump’s choice for McDaniel’s replacement lacking.
Certain names have continued to show up in social media comments as alternatives to Whatley.
Ronna McDaniel to step down after South Carolina primary
Trump is allegedly backing Michael Watley, who heads the North Carolina GOP to replace her.
It should be @ScottPresler !!
— Sara Rose 🇺🇸🌹 (@saras76) February 7, 2024
— ConservativeGurl💗 (@ConservativeCD) February 7, 2024
I fully support @ScottPresler for Chairman of the RNC.
— Bigfoot (@Bigfoot_USA) February 7, 2024
While there appears to be unending support for McDaniel stepping down, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of support for Whatley at this early stage.
Time will tell whether or not Trump officially endorses Whatley.
The Post Millennial has more on this developing story:
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.
WND also reported:
In January 2023, Trump endorsed Whatley to be the RNC co-chair, but he eventually withdrew his candidacy before South Carolina GOP Chairman Drew McKissick secured the position, according to the NYT.
Whatley has supported the former president’s claims that the previous election was stolen. The chairman has touted his party’s proactiveness ahead of the 2020 election, which he has argued prevented Democrats from interfering in the state’s elections.
Ahead of the 2022 midterms, Whatley’s state GOP created an Election Integrity Committee to recruit volunteers and poll watchers, as well as provide “statutory and administrative rule recommendations,” according to The News & Observer.
Whatley held numerous positions before running for state party chairman, including serving as a federal law clerk, on the Florida Recount Team for George W. Bush’s recall effort, as a senior official in Bush’s administration and as chief of staff to former Sen. Elizabeth Dole, according to his campaign website.