Tags: Donald Trump | reince priebus | fiorina | trump

RNC Chair Up for Grabs

RNC Chair Up for Grabs


Monday, 29 August 2016 10:16 AM Current | Bio | Archive

Whether or not Donald Trump wins in November, the question of the next Republican National Committee chairman is on everyone's mind in D.C.

Though most of the 168-member RNC would approve a President Trump designee, outside of that the most likely option is the re-election of Chairman Reince Priebus. Clouding matters, many are wondering if Priebus will even run.

There is already growing speculation within the party about others mentioned for the chairmanship. Among them is former presidential hopeful Carly Fiorina, who is showing up at party events and giving every sign she wants the job.

“What will Reince do?” is the question that RNC members usually begin the discussion about the chairmanship.“[Priebus] has repeatedly told people at RNC meetings that he won’t stand for a fourth term,” Virginia Republican National Committeeman Morton Blackwell told me. “But I’ve seen that story and it’s [Priebus’s running again] is a possibility.”

Blackwell referred to an Aug. 22 Politico story that assumes a defeat of Trump and suggests that the RNC is “poised to award the party’s chairman Reince Priebus with another term.”

Citing interviews with 50 members of the RNC, Politico concluded that rather than holding anything against the chairman for the second straight presidential defeat of his tenure, “they credit him with turning around a broken party apparatus, raising boatloads of cash and standing by the party's polarizing nominee despite fierce headwinds.”

“I’d walk through a wall for Reince,” Nebraska’s Republican National Committeeman J.L. Spray told Politico.

Asked by Newsmax on Friday what Priebus’s plans are, RNC Communications Director Sean Spicer said: “The only election the chairman is focused on is the one in November where we will take back the White House and maintain majorities in the House and Senate.”

Arizona State Chairman Robert Graham has sent strong signals he will run if Priebus exits. Also mentioned are two RNC officials considered close to Priebus: Matt Pinnell, national state party director, and Spicer the communications director.

Both are well-liked by the RNC members, party sources told me.

But Fiorina is drawing increasing attention as well.

The former Hewlett-Packard CEO is scheduled for a string of Republican Party events in Michigan in the fall. Last week, she appeared at an event in Virginia for Ed Gillespie, 2017 gubernatorial hopeful and himself a former RNC chairman.

In contrast to the tea party-based conservatives who vote increasingly in the party primaries and the newer Trump supporters, the 168 RNC members are more “establishment” figures—“more ‘Republican’ than ‘conservative’,” as one RNC member put it.

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax.


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Whether or not Donald Trump wins in November, the question of the next Republican National Committee chairman is on everyone's mind in D.C.
reince priebus, fiorina, trump
Monday, 29 August 2016 10:16 AM
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