Two RNC committeemen call for McDaniel to drop out of election for party chair

McDaniel currently has two challengers for the chairmanship after New York Rep. Lee Zeldin decided not to run, fueling speculation that he's positioning himself as a potential compromise choice for House speaker, which he denies.

Updated: December 8, 2022 - 11:58am

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Opposition to Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel's bid for reelection to a fourth term is growing among RNC members, according to two national committeemen.

Roger Villere of Louisiana, former vice chair of the RNC, wrote a letter to McDaniel on Wednesday evening asking her to "honor her commitment" not to seek another term.

Villere, chairman of the Republican National Conservative Caucus (RNCC), told Just the News that McDaniel had previously informed RNC committee members on stage during a meeting that her current term would be her last. She publicly announced last month that she would be seeking another term. 

"Here she is running again, and yet we've had three losing election cycles in a row," Villere said. "Let's get some new, fresh energy in there, and let's win."

McDaniel currently has two challengers for the chairmanship, attorney Harmeet Dhillon and MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell. Villere and Solomon Yue, national committeeman from Oregon, said they are planning to support Dhillon.

"I was born in communist China, survived Mao's Cultural Revolution, and found freedom in America," said Yue. "I have been very concerned about whether or not we can keep this Republic since we lost the White House in 2020. I have also seen Biden's Cancel Cultural Revolution happening everywhere in America."

Yue said he has lost confidence in McDaniel's "leadership based on her past performance" and if the "RNC fails to deliver the White House win in 2024, this time we lose America."

In his letter to McDaniel, Villere wrote that "almost every grassroots Republican" he has spoken with wants new leadership at the RNC.

"Under your leadership, the RNC has been running an outdated election model. We need better messaging, better and more aggressive recruiting, better and more training and much more grassroots involvement," he wrote. "Regrettably, this is the first time since 1934 that the incumbent party has picked up a Senate seat and two Governorships, very sad and disappointing. Ronna, I urge you to honor your commitment to not run for re-election as RNC chair."

Following the GOP's loss in Tuesday's Georgia U.S. Senate runoff, both committeemen predicted that more committee members will come out against McDaniel publicly if she does not drop her bid for reelection. 

According to a spokesperson for McDaniel's re-election effort, her supporters on Monday circulated an updated endorsement letter with additional names of RNC members who have endorsed her.

New York GOP Rep. Lee Zeldin announced on Wednesday that he has decided not to run for RNC chair at this time, fueling speculation he is positioning himself as a compromise choice for House speaker. 

"I won't be running for RNC Chair at this time with McDaniel's reelection pre-baked by design, but that doesn't mean she should even be running again," Zeldin wrote on Twitter.

"It's time to step aside," Zeldin said later during an interview. 

Former House Freedom Caucus Chairman Andy Biggs has formally announced that he will run against McCarthy for speaker in January.

Both Villere and Yue told Just the News that they've heard from numerous individuals within the GOP that Zeldin is open to serving as an alternative for speaker if House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy and Biggs fail to gain enough votes to become speaker on the House floor in January.

Zeldin denied that he is interested in the speakership during a Fox News interview on Wednesday. 

"I am certainly not going to meddle with that process at all," he said.

McCarthy secured 188 votes from Republicans to win the speaker nomination in November.