Trump’s RNC Replacement Pick Revealed

GOP presidential candidate frontrunner Donald Trump apparently has a replacement in mind who will head up the Republican National Committee.

The New York Times reported this week that RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel offered to resign from her position so that Trump could select new leadership for the group who would align with his views for the party.

She’s likely to stay in the position through the South Carolina primary election, which is scheduled for February 24.

The RNC didn’t comment directly on the situation, only issuing a statement from spokesperson Keith Schipper that said:

“Nothing has changed. This will be decided after South Carolina.”

That being said, multiple sources told The Times that Trump has someone in mind to lead his version of the RNC going forward — Michael Whatley.

Whatley is the head of the Republican Party in North Carolina, and currently serves as the RNC’s general counsel.

He was first elected to serve as the chairman of the state GOP back in June of 2019, receiving more than 50% of the vote at the time against Jim Womack, a commissioner in Lee County.

Leading up to the 2020 elections, Whatley said the GOP needed a “reset,” and he vowed to work hard so that Trump would be reelected.

In his time as the head of the North Carolina GOP, Whatley oversaw wins for both Trump in the presidential election, as well as Senator Thom Tillis during the 2020 election cycle, as well as a win for Senator Ted Budd in the 2022 election cycle.

During that time, the GOP regained a supermajority over the North Carolina state legislature, and the state Supreme Court flipped to being a conservative majority.

According to The Times’ sources, Trump believes he’d be a good fit for the position leading the RNC because he’s “a stop the steal guy” who would be able to deliver on the party’s efforts to uphold election integrity.

Leading up to the midterm elections in 2022, the North Carolina GOP created what they called an Election Integrity Committee whose job it was to recruit poll watchers and volunteers. It also provided “statutory and administrative rule recommendations.”

Trump apparently likes the leadership Whatley has displayed in North Carolina, which is projected to be a key swing state in this year’s presidential election. Trump narrowly won the state during the 2020 election.

According to a survey compilation from RealClearPolitics, Trump has a lead over President Joe Biden in eight different polls in North Carolina. His lead there has ranged anywhere from one point to 11 points.

Whatley is no stranger to Trump. He was a senior advisor to the Trump-Pence transition team.

And in January of 2023, Trump endorsed Whatley to serve as the co-chair of the RNC. Eventually, though, Whatley withdrew from being a candidate for that position, which paved the way for Drew McKissick, the chairman of the South Carolina GOP, to win the role.