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New state GOP chair looks to bridge gap between establishment, tea party

RNC Chair Ronna Romney McDaniel holding a microphone

Michigan's Republicans held their winter convention this weekend. Ronna Romney McDaniel was elected as the new Michigan GOP chair after former chair Bobby Schostak decided not to run for another term.

Ronna Romney McDaniel’s famous name is “a big selling point for her,” MLive’s Capitol reporter Jonathan Oosting said after speaking with McDaniel.

McDaniel’s uncle is Mitt Romney, former presidential candidate and Michigan native. Her mother, also named Ronna Romney, was a Republican National Committee woman in Michigan, and her grandfather is former governor George Romney.

This well-connected name provides her with an established network, a means to future election funding and more, Oosting said.

He went on to say that McDaniel aims to bridge the gap between the establishment GOP and the tea party Republicans.

“Her basic game plan, as she’s described it, is to host more town hall meetings, to really invite local delegates to interact with the party more,” Oosting said. “So her plan seems fairly modest but obvious, which is to simply have more events where these people are actually invited to be part of that process.”

As for the convention itself, “It was a lot less explosive than it could have been,” Oosting said. “There was a lot of drama heading into the convention – of course there’s the outstanding question of Dave Agema, there was potential that the party would take a formal position on Proposal 1, the May 5 roads proposal – none of that stuff actually came to fruition.”

The “real drama” came to pass on Friday night, when the state committee was elected.

“And there was some shake-up there,” Oosting said. “You might say more grassroots candidates, or tea party candidates, knocked off a few of those establishment people. So the dynamics of the party seemed to shift slightly, but not in such a large volume that there was a radical makeover or anything of that nature.”

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