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With razor-thin GOP majority likely, McCarthy allies tried to convince moderate Democrat to switch parties

Ronna McDaniel takes the stage before Kevin McCarthy at an election night party in Washington, DC, on Tuesday.
Ronna McDaniel takes the stage before Kevin McCarthy at an election night party in Washington, DC, on Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc./Getty Images)

Ronna McDaniel, chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, told members that she intends to seek reelection for another term – in hopes of leading the party through the 2024 presidential campaign, according to people familiar with a conference call Monday.

As recriminations intensify over a disappointing midterm election cycle for Republicans, and after Democrats held their Senate majority, dissatisfaction is spilling out into public view as the party moves to leadership elections in the House, Senate and the RNC.  

On an early-afternoon call, McDaniel told members that she intended to run for a fourth term — and asked for their support.

She has received private support from about 100 members, an aide said, even as an appetite for new leadership is coursing through some sectors of the party.

She was first chosen to lead the RNC when former President Donald Trump took office.

The two have worked closely together over the past five years, with occasional dustups, but he has not publicly signaled his intentions about who he would like to see lead the national party.

Possible challengers: One possible challenge could emerge from South Dakota as Gov. Kristi Noem has fielded calls from top GOP donors urging her to mount a bid for chair of the RNC, CNN has learned. 

Sources familiar with the matter said Noem, who glided to reelection last Tuesday, has been contacted by several major RNC donors who are seeking a change in leadership following an underwhelming midterm cycle for Republicans.  

"I think the party would very much like to have another female chair,” said a person familiar with the effort to draft Noem. The committee’s bylaws stipulate that its chair and co-chair must be of the opposite sex. 

Noem's communications director Ian Fury declined "to confirm or deny" attempts to recruit Noem for the high-profile position. 

It is unclear whether Noem is interested in the job at this point. Sources said the South Dakota Republican, who has previously been floated as a potential running mate if Donald Trump launches a successful bid for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination, received a call from the former president immediately after her reelection victory. She has been invited to appear at his expected 2024 campaign announcement on Tuesday, these sources said.

Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin, who mounted a better-than-expected but ultimately unsuccessful bid for New York governor this year, has also been fielding calls encouraging him to run for RNC chair, a source with knowledge of the conversations told CNN. NBC first reported that Zeldin was taking calls encouraging him to run.

Meanwhile, Tommy Hicks, co-chair of the committee, said in a statement Monday he would not seek re-election for a third term. Hicks, who has served as co-chairman for four years, said in a letter to RNC members it was time for him to focus on his family.  

Trump has also kept a close relationship with McDaniel and Hicks, though Republicans have been speculating whether there will be a shakeup at the RNC following Tuesday's disappointing GOP midterm results. 

Following the midterms, "someone new needs to run and clean house at the RNC," one Trump adviser told CNN. 

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