Republican National Committee Chairwoman (RNC) Ronna McDaniel has reportedly considered running for governor in her home state of Michigan.
Politico reported on Thursday that McDaniel told RNC members during a meeting in Dallas, Texas, that she has thought about stepping down from the post to run against Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) in 2022 as she criticized the governor’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.
As the outlet notes, “McDaniel expressed frustration about Whitmer, her home-state governor, saying the first-term Democrat had severely mishandled the coronavirus pandemic. McDaniel grew emotional as she described how her two children, who are in the public-school system, had been unable to return to in-person learning.”
However, attendees of the meeting told Politico that they were not sure how seriously McDaniel was weighing a run and suggested that the comments may have been made “out of frustration.”
A spokesperson for the chairwoman told the outlet, “Gov. Whitmer’s dismal record of leadership has done lasting harm to Michigan families. Michigan would be vastly better off with a change in leadership, but the chairwoman has no desire to do anything else other than lead the Republican Party to victory in 2022 by taking back the House and Senate.”
Whitmer, who is up for reelection in 2022, has been a target of conservatives throughout the pandemic who criticized her response to the outbreak.
A recent poll from EPIC-MRA of Lansing found Whitmer’s approval rating at 52% — down from 56% in September.
McDaniel comes from a family with a history in Michigan politics dating back decades. Her grandfather, George Romney, served as governor of the state. And her grandmother and mother both made failed bids for U.S. Senate seats.
She served as the chair of the Michigan Republican Party from 2015 to 2017 when she became chair of the RNC following former President Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential win.
Trump credited McDaniel for his victory in Michigan. In a 2017 announcement naming McDaniel as RNC chair, Trump said, “Her efforts were critical to our tremendous victory in Michigan, and I know she will bring the same passion to the Republican National Committee.”