(AP) – President-elect Donald Trump is naming Michigan GOP leader Ronna Romney McDaniel deputy chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, in anticipation of her becoming RNC chairwoman next year.
Trump is praising McDaniel’s loyalty “to our movement” and says, “I look forward to her serving as the party’s chairman in 2017.”
McDaniel is the niece of 2012 GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, who sharply criticized Trump throughout the 2016 election campaign. Trump was the first Republican presidential nominee to carry Michigan in 28 years.
The 168-member Republican National Committee is expected to select a new chairman at its winter meeting, scheduled for next month in Washington.
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus has been asked to serve as Trump’s White House chief of staff. Priebus had supported McDaniel as his successor.
Michigan Congressman John Moolenaar praised the choice, saying “she has a done an outstanding job for the state party and her leadership led Republicans to a historic victory in Michigan, winning the state’s electoral votes for the first time since 1988.”
Congressman Tim Walberg also voiced support for the choice. “Under Ronna’s dedicated leadership, Michigan Republicans maintained strong majorities in the state legislature and congressional delegation this election cycle. She also played an instrumental role in amplifying President-elect Donald Trump’s winning message and securing victory in Michigan.”