Outgoing Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin of New York has told supporters he is “seriously considering” a run for the chairmanship of the Republican National Committee.
Although Zeldin lost his election to Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul, he ran a campaign that ended up six percentage points behind in a state where Democrats vastly outnumber Republicans. That, and a strong showing by New York Republicans in House elections in which several Democrat seats were flipped, has increased Zeldin’s national visibility.
Zeldin “has received calls from around the country,” Zeldin media consultant John Brabender said, according to NBC. “It’s likely that he will at least explore it. … He’s fielding calls, talking to people, listening to them, but it has not gone beyond that.”
GIVE ‘EM ZEL! GOP Rep. Lee Zeldin ‘Very Seriously Considering’ Running for RNC Chair https://t.co/34M20KSPXv
— Sean Hannity (@seanhannity) November 17, 2022
A message sent Thursday to those urging Zeldin to oppose current RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel stopped short of a declaration that he would seek to dethrone her.
“I am very seriously considering your requests and am grateful for your messages,” Zeldin told committee members in a message, according to the New York Post.
“The key was to run as one team, top down and bottom up. We organized, collaborated, stayed on message, remained disciplined, and put in max effort every single day,” Zeldin wrote.
Zeldin said hard work was the key to his success.
Zeldin for RNC chair. No brainer.https://t.co/KWvAHfRWdj
— Mark R. Levin (@marklevinshow) November 18, 2022
“We churned out our base and doubled down on Election Day, receiving the most votes of any GOP statewide candidate in New York in 52 years. We raised tens of millions of dollars from all across the country, and deployed thousands of volunteers all across the state,” Zeldin wrote.
“By the end of the night on Election Day, my home county of Suffolk cast the most votes in the race for Governor, outpacing every county in the state, including those in New York City,” he wrote.
Although Zeldin has not offered an on-the-record comment, the Post quoted what it called “one source with deep ties to New York’s business community who is talking up Zeldin” as saying, “It sounds like he’s in.”
It is time nationally for the Republican Party to retool, transform, win back the Presidency in 2024, expand our number of GOP-held seats in Congress, and elect the maximum number of down-ballot candidates across the country. https://t.co/1TAu4TAle6
— Lee Zeldin (@leezeldin) November 17, 2022
“It is time for our party to retool, transform, win back the Presidency in 2024, expand our number of Republican-held seats in Congress, and elect the maximum number of down-ballot races across the country,” Zeldin said. “The Republican Party needs to be all in to do everything in its power to save America.”
“Not only should the Republican Party compete in all 50 states, and ensure we are driving up turnout within our base, but we also need to go to all communities no matter how blue they are, show up often, build relationships, and advance our proposals on education, upward economic mobility, housing, mental health, public safety, and more. This means making sure people know what we stand for, and not just what we are against,” he wrote.
McDaniel, however, still enjoys support among at least some members of the RNC.
Glenn McCall, an RNC committeeman from South Carolina, said in a statement to Politico, “there is no one better than Ronna McDaniel to keep our party united and best positioned to elect the next President of the United States and take back the Senate. The tremendous work the RNC has done under her leadership will help Republicans for decades to come.”
The RNC vote will be held in January.
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