North Carolina native, and current chairman of the North Carolina Republican Party, Michael Whatley was elected chair of the Republican National Committee (RNC) Friday as members gathered in Houston, TX for the group’s spring meeting.

Lara Trump, daughter-in-law of former President Donald Trump and also a North Carolina native, was elected co-chair. The elections mark a total Tar Heel takeover of the GOP leadership following a loss of faith in outgoing chair Ronna McDaniel.

As promised, McDaniel stepped down Friday from her top post following requests from Trump for her to resign. Following her resignation announcement earlier this year, Trump then endorsed Whatley for the leadership role.

“When I made the decision to step aside, there was no one else I supported to be the next chair more than Michael Whatley,” said McDaniel in her resignation speech. “Michael and I’ve had a very close relationship as he ran North Carolina. He ran to be my co-chair last year; I appointed him as general counsel; and, he will be phenomenal on, I know, an issue President Trump cares deeply about, which is election integrity. I am rooting so hard for Michael and Laura’s success and I offer all the help and guidance, I can to help ensure that you do succeed in your roles and thank you for stepping up.”

“I want to open this morning with several notes of gratitude,” Whatley said upon taking the stage to accept his new leadership role. “First, I want to thank the members of the RNC for entrusting me with this position at this critical time. I have been overwhelmed by the support and encouragement that I’ve received over the past couple of weeks, as I have talked to the members of the committee. […] Finally, I would like to thank President Trump for his trust and support.”

The former president won North Carolina twice while Whatley was at the helm of the NCGOP. Further, the Tar Heel State stood out as a beacon of Republican victory in 2022. While the rest of the GOP at large fell flat in battlegrounds like Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Arizona, Republicans in North Carolina reclaimed a legislative super-majority in the General Assembly, successfully elected a US Senator, and took firm control of the State’s Supreme Court.

The outperformance was clearly noticed at the national organization level. Already having been regarded as a well-run organization by RNC leaders, victories statewide in 2022 cemented the NCGOP as a model state party worthy of emulation. In February 2023 Whatley was tapped as RNC General Counsel, focusing on election integrity matters.

Sporting a swing state designation, the road to the White House in 2024 necessarily runs through the Old North State. And now, leaders from North Carolina will help spearhead a national GOP push to retake the presidency and congress.

“In less than eight months, we are going to determine the fate of not only the United States, but of the entire world,” proclaimed Whatley Friday in Houston. “And this body, the RNC, is going to be the vanguard of a movement that will work tirelessly every single day to elect our nominee Donald J Trump as the 47th President of the United States, flip the senate, and expand our majority in the House of Representatives.”

He said the two top priorities for the GOP winning in 2024 are getting out the vote and protecting the ballot, noting the elections could hinge on a mere handful of states and districts.

“We have millions of low propensity voters, who will vote for Republicans if we can turn them out,” said Whatley. “In order to win, we must identify target and communicate with those voters. To do that, we will build our efforts to register new Republican voters; we will build our data programs at target the voters we need to be reaching out to; [and] we will recruit and train tens of thousands of volunteers to knock on doors and make phone calls in order to have those critical five minute conversations and get the those voters to the polls. Everyone in this room and every voter across the country knows that we must protect the sanctity of their vote.”

Lara Trump, elected co-chair immediately following Whatley’s election, reiterated the GOP election priorities and noted the Carolina connections.

“As Ronna mentioned earlier to me, to Michael, we are going to work our hardest over the next eight months; I can promise you that,” Trump said. “It’s an honor as well to work with someone else from North Carolina. Did y’all do this on purpose? We got the North Carolina contingent. Everybody else; that’s okay! I’ve known Michael for so long and he is a fighter, he’s a worker, he’s a doer and that’s exactly what you’re going to see out of the Republican National Committee with us at the helm, we are going to be doing and working and winning.”

Trump, serving in a co-chair role that will focus largely on fundraising for the GOP, came to the stage with a fresh $100,000 check from a donor, signaling an energetic start to the RNC leadership transition.

The next time the RNC will meet will be at the RNC National Convention in Milwaukee in July, where they will officially nominate Donald Trump for president. There are 241 days until Election Day, November 5, 2024.