Senior North Carolina Republicans were informed Tuesday by Ronna McDaniel, current chair of the Republican National Committee, that she intended to resign her post after the South Carolina primary on February 24.
McDaniel told leadership Tuesday that current NCGOP Chairman Michael Whatley was Trump’s preferred candidate to replace her and lead the RNC. McDaniel has led the party since 2017, and was re-elected to a fourth time in January. Earlier this year she spoke with Carolina Journal about the RNC’s campaign to get more Republicans to take advantage of early voting. Whatley is leading that effort in North Carolina, along with a push for greater election security in the state.
Whatley was first elected NCGOP chair in 2019, and re-elected in 2021 and 2023. He currently serves as the general counsel for the Republican National Committee.
“If the news is true, I honor the service of Ronna McDaniel and thank her for her strong efforts; I fully endorse Michael Whatley as the next RNC chairman,” said NC Republican Party vice chair and a close ally of Whatley, Susan Mills, in an exclusive interview with Carolina Journal.
“As we’ve seen in North Carolina Chairman Whatley can bring Trump to victory and will do so in 2024,” Mills added. “I stood side by side with Whatley as we won North Carolina for Trump in 2020, elected a Republican Supreme Court, regained legislative supermajorities, and elected Ted Budd to the United States Senate. I look forward to continuing our legacy of success.”
When asked directly if she would seek to replace Whatley, Mills confirmed that she believed that she was ready for this critical moment, and if asked to lead and serve, she would. Should Whatley resign to become RNC chair, the roughly 500 member Executive Committee of the North Carolina Republican Party would pick a replacement to fill out the remaining term of the NCGOP chair until the summer of 2025.
The State Executive Committee is made up of Republican state legislators, statewide elected officials, county chairs, and other key GOP activists.