McCarthy's allies tried to convince a moderate Democrat to switch parties

McCarthy’s allies tried to convince a moderate Democrat to switch parties

Ronna McDaniel takes the stage in front of Kevin McCarthy at election night in Washington, DC on Tuesday.
Ronna McDaniel takes the stage in front of Kevin McCarthy at election night in Washington, DC on Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc./Getty Images)

Ronna McDaniel, chair of the Republican National Committee, told members she intended to seek re-election for another term – hoping to lead the party through the 2024 presidential campaign, according to people familiar with a conference call on Monday.

As recriminations escalate during a disappointing midterm election cycle for Republicans, and after Democrats retain their majority in the Senate, discontent spills over into public opinion as the party moves to the House, Senate and RNC leadership elections.

On an early afternoon call, McDaniel told members she intended to run for a fourth term — and asked for their support.

She has received the private backing of around 100 members, an aide said, even as an appetite for new leadership grows in some sectors of the party.

She was first chosen to lead the RNC when former President Donald Trump took office.

The two have worked closely together over the past five years, with the occasional dust-up, but he has not publicly signaled his intentions as to who he would like to see lead the national party.

Possible challengers: A possible challenge could emerge from South Dakota as Governor Kristi Noem has responded to calls from major GOP donors urging her to mount a bid for the RNC chair, CNN has learned.

Sources familiar with the matter said Noem, who slid to re-election last Tuesday, has been contacted by several major RNC donors seeking a leadership change after a disappointing midterm round for Republicans.

“I think the party would love to have another female president,” said a person familiar with Noem’s editorial effort. The committee’s bylaws state that its chair and co-chair must be of the opposite sex.

Noem’s director of communications, Ian Fury, declined to ‘confirm or deny’ attempts to recruit Noem for the top job.

It’s unclear if Noem is interested in the job at this point. Sources said the South Dakota Republican, who had previously been touted as a potential running mate should Donald Trump launch a successful bid for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination, received a call from the former president immediately following her victory in re-election. She was asked to appear on Tuesday when her 2024 campaign was announced, the sources said.

Republican Representative Lee Zeldin, who mounted a better-than-expected but ultimately unsuccessful bid for New York governor this year, also fielded calls encouraging him to run for RNC president, a source familiar with the conversations told CNN. NBC first reported that Zeldin was taking calls encouraging him to run.

Meanwhile, committee co-chair Tommy Hicks said in a statement on Monday that he would not run for a third term. Hicks, who served as co-chairman for four years, said in a letter to RNC members that it was time for him to focus on his family.

Trump has also maintained a close relationship with McDaniel and Hicks, though Republicans have questioned whether there will be a shakeup at the RNC after Tuesday’s disappointing GOP midterm results.

After the midterms, “someone new has to run and clean up the RNC,” a Trump adviser told CNN.

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