New York Republican Lee Zeldin Moves Closer to Run for RNC Chair

Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY), who had a strong performance in the New York governor’s race, is “very seriously considering” running to head the Republican National Committee (RNC), challenging the current leader, Ronna McDaniel.

Zeldin, who recently lost a gubernatorial campaign against New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D), is getting closer to running for RNC chair after sending out an email to committee members on Thursday, according to Politico.

“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 in the message. “The Republican Party needs to be all in to do everything in its power to save America.”

As Breitbart News reported last week, Zeldin, running one of the closest gubernatorial races in New York in 20 years, created significant inroads for other GOP candidates across the state — including at least ten House seats, one held by Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) chair Rep. Sean Maloney (D-NY).

His performance in the midterms caused multiple people, such as elected officials and activists, to contact Zeldin to ask him to run for chair of the party.

Zeldin wrote in his email to RNC members:

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 added.

This comes as McDaniel, who is considered a close ally of former President Donald Trump, announced her candidacy on Monday for a fourth term in the position. There has already been a letter circulated among committee members indicating she already has enough support from over 100 members to secure another term, since only a simple majority is needed. 

Republican National Committee chairman Ronna McDaniel speaks in Newport Beach on Monday, Sept. 26, 2022 (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images).

McDaniel headed the RNC while Republicans expected a red wave in the midterms, despite barely winning a majority in the House and losing ground in the Senate. As Politico explained, the party out of power during a midterm year typically performs strongly in midterm elections, especially with a president having a low approval rating and skyrocketing inflation and crime.

Jacob Bliss is a reporter for Breitbart News. Write to him at or follow him on Twitter @JacobMBliss.

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