Trump Taps Michigan GOP Chair Romney McDaniel to Head RNC

  • Ohio Republican operative Bob Paduchik will be co-chairman
  • Ronna Romney is niece of 2012 Republican nominee Mitt Romney

President-elect Donald Trump has picked Ronna Romney McDaniel to head the Republican National Committee as the party gears up to hold or expand its congressional majority and promote Trump’s agenda, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Trump also has chosen Bob Paduchik, a veteran campaign operative from Ohio, to serve as the party’s co-chairman, said the person, who was speaking on condition of anonymity because an announcement hasn’t been made.

Romney McDaniel is chairwoman of the Michigan Republican Party organization and is a niece of 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, one of the contenders to become Trump’s secretary of state. She was a key supporter of Trump’s campaign in Michigan, which emerged as a battleground in the Nov. 8 election.

Reince Priebus, who had been RNC chairman, was selected by Trump to serve as his White House chief of staff. Although the position is elected by the 168-member RNC executive committee, the president-elect typically has full control over the appointment of the leader of his party’s national committee.

Among the other contenders said to have been considered for the job with backing from various members of Trump’s team were Dave Bossie, the deputy manager of the Trump campaign; Mercedes Schlapp, a conservative commentator for English and Spanish media who worked in the George W. Bush administration; Nick Ayers, an adviser to Vice President-elect Mike Pence; and David Urban, who guided Trump’s campaign in Pennsylvania.

Paduchik worked for presidential candidate Jeb Bush’s primary campaign this year, then jumped to Trump, where he helped the New York businessman win the crucial swing state of Ohio. Paduchik ran George W. Bush’s victorious campaigns in Ohio in 2000 and 2004.