The North Carolina Republican Party announced Tuesday that its chair, Michael Whatley, has been appointed as the new general counsel for the Republican National Committee. RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel has chosen Whatley to replace current general counsel Kyle Hupfer, who chairs the Indiana Republican Party.

“Chairman Michael Whatley has done incredible work leading the North Carolina Republican Party to key victories since taking the role in 2019,” said McDaniel in a statement. “An accomplished lawyer with a wide breadth of experience at every level of the political process, Chairman Whatley will bring election integrity expertise, strong grassroots ties, and a winning record to the General Counsel’s office. I look forward to working closely with the Chairman as we expand our lawfare efforts and work to make Joe Biden a one-term president.”

The selection comes a month after Whatley was nominated to be co-chair of the national Republican party organization, but Drew MicKissock of South Carolina ultimately won that election.

Whatley is expected to continue in his role heading the NCGOP and is due to run for re-election at the state party convention this summer. He was first elected chairman in June 2019.

“It is an honor to be named as General Counsel for the Republican National Committee,” said Whatley. “I am excited to work with the RNC, State and Territory Parties, and our Republican candidates across the country to win big in 2024.”

NCGOP Chair Michael Whatley with (L to R) NC Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson, Sen. Ted Budd, N.C. Senate leader Phil Berger, and N.C. House Speaker Tim Moore. Source: Twitter

The announcement signals the state’s growing prominence on the national political stage ahead of the 2024 general election. Gov. Roy Cooper heads the Democratic Governors Association. In the 2022 midterms, Republicans swept statewide judicial races and increased their majority in the state legislature. In 2024, there will be a presidential race on the ballot, along with a gubernatorial race and all members of the Council of State.

Whatley served as a federal law clerk, senior official in the George W. Bush administration, and as chief of staff for U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Dole.