When President-elect Donald Trump named Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Reince Priebus his chief of staff this weekend, he left the position of RNC chair open. Sources inside the Trump camp hinted that the president-elect’s former campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, is a frontrunner for the job.
When Hillary Clinton seemed likely to win the presidency, the RNC chairman’s race seemed likely to become competitive. Were Priebus to decide not to run again, many potential leaders would emerge. Since Trump won, however, he will nominate the RNC chairman.
“There likely will not be a ‘race’ per se,” Matt Moore, state chairman of the South Carolina Republican Party, told PJ Media in an email statement. “Traditionally, the president nominates a chairman who is ratified by the national committee members.”
Moore expressed complete confidence in the president-elect. “I trust President-elect Trump and outgoing Chairman Priebus to make a solid choice.”
Trump’s campaign ousted Lewandowski in June, following allegations that the former campaign manager grabbed former Breitbart reporter (and former PJ Media reporter) Michelle Fields. Trump mocked the allegations and claimed that Fields was lying. Conservative female journalists sent an open letter to Trump asking him to “remove Lewandowski from his campaign,” and attacking his behavior as “inexcusable and unprofessional.”
Three days later, however, CNN hired Lewandowski as a political commentator. The network reportedly valued his experience running a surprisingly successful presidential campaign.
The former campaign manager is not the only one who has been rumored to replace Priebus, however. “I’ve assumed KellyAnne would do it,” a Republican strategist told PJ Media, referring to Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway. “She’s a great spokesman for the party and obviously a great political talent.”
Despite rumors that former presidential candidate Carly Fiorina would run for RNC chair, a source near Fiorina said “there was never any reality there.”
Ultimately, the choice comes down to the president-elect and his chief of staff. Whom will Trump and Priebus pick? Stay tuned.