Update: McDaniel won re-election, 111 to 51.
New Jersey’s three votes on the Republican National Committee will be split today, in a contentious fight over the party chairmanship, the New Jersey Globe has confirmed.
Ronna McDaniel is seeking to hold on to the job for a fourth term. She will have the backing of Virginia Haines, an Ocean County commissioner and the Republican National Committeeman from New Jersey.
But the other two New Jerseyans with votes, Republican National Committeeman Bill Palatucci and GOP State Chairman Bob Hugin, are planning to vote for Harmeet Dhillon, a California Republican leader and a vote-by-mail opponent who served as a legal advisor to President Donald Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign.
“My fellow RNC members need to vote for change,” Palatucci said.
Trump, who handpicked McDaniel in 2017 for a job ex-New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie wanted, remains neutral in the race.
Mike Lindell, a conspiracy theorist and owner of My Pillow, is also running for Republican National Chairman.
Palatucci has fought with McDaniel—who is the niece of Utah Sen. Mitt Romney, who Christie backed for President in 2012— over the last few years and turned on Trump after the 2020 election around the same time Christie did.
If she wins, New Jersey might have a tough time attracting national Republican money into this year’s elections for the state legislature despite a map that offers the GOP a little shot at winning majorities for the first time in two decades.
In February 2022, Palatucci and Hugin voted against a Republican National Committee resolution censuring then-Reps. Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger for taking part in the investigation of the events at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. Haines didn’t vote; she left early to fly back to New Jersey.
The three New Jersey Republicans are in Dana Point, California, this week for the election.