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    Michael Whatley officially announces for RNC Chair

    By Alex Isenstadt,

    Former President Donald Trump takes the stage with Michael Whatley after being announced at the NCGOP state convention on June 5, 2021 in Greenville, North Carolina. | Melissa Sue Gerrits/Getty Images

    North Carolina GOP Chair Michael Whatley announced his candidacy to lead the Republican National Committee on Monday.

    In a letter to the RNC’s 168 members, which was obtained by POLITICO, Whatley highlighted the endorsement he had received for the post from former President Donald Trump, the frontrunner for the GOP nomination.

    “I have been truly honored to receive President Trump’s endorsement for this position and I hope to earn your vote as we undertake the crucial work of winning up and down the ballot in 2024,” Whatley wrote.

    The announcement comes just hours after the sitting RNC Chair, Ronna McDaniel, announced that she would be stepping down from the post early next month. Trump has moved to put in place new leadership at the committee ahead of the general election. He is supporting Whatley as chair, his daughter-in-law Lara Trump as co-chair, and his senior campaign adviser Chris LaCivita as RNC’s chief operating officer.

    Whatley must win a majority of support from the RNC’s members to become chair, which he is expected to easily do given Trump’s widespread backing among the members. The election is set to take place March 8 in Houston.

    Whatley laid out his vision for the committee in the letter, saying the RNC needed to be “laser-focused on registering new voters, pushing voters to the polls, and taking advantage of every opportunity to run up our margin in key states across the country.”

    He also stressed that he would pursue an objective dear to Trump’s heart, saying the committee would “work around the clock to file aggressive litigation where needed, recruit and train tens of thousands of poll watchers and poll workers.”

    Whatley, who has served as RNC’s general counsel, won Trump’s support thanks in part to his focus on “election integrity” issues, those familiar with the former president’s thinking say. Whatley appeared onstage with Trump at his South Carolina victory party on Saturday evening.

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