EAST LANSING, Mich. — Michigan Republican officials on Saturday selected the niece of former GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney to replace Terri Lynn Land on the party’s national committee.
Ronna Romney McDaniel was elected during a morning meeting of the 113-member Michigan Republican Party State Central Committee. McDaniel is the daughter of Ronna Romney, who also served on the Republican National Committee in the 1980s and early ‘90s.
Land, Michigan’s former secretary of state, resigned last month to focus on her bid for the U.S. Senate. Her likely Democratic opponent is U.S. Rep. Gary Peters.
Michigan’s other RNC elected member is Dave Agema, who has repeatedly refused to step down after making anti-gay and anti-Muslim comments and despite calls for him to do so from many top Republicans, including leaders of the state and national party.
McDaniel, who lives in Northville, told reporters after Saturday’s vote that her priority is to unify the party. She also refused to be drawn into the debate over Agema, a former Republican lawmaker from Grandville.
“I’m not getting into that,” she said. “He’s been asked to resign. He’s decided not to do so. I’m moving forward.”
Agema, who attended the meeting and voted, reiterated his intentions to stay put and added he’s looking forward to working with McDaniel.
Some party members have attempted to bring censure motions against Agema but none has come to a vote. The committee has no power to remove Agema from the RNC because he was elected to a four-year term at a 2012 party convention.