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ArlingtonGOP titan: Time for Republican National Committee chair to go

GOP titan: Time for Republican National Committee chair to go

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An Arlingtonian has decided that the current chair of the Republican National Committee has to go.

That would not necessarily be news, except that in this case, the Arlingtonian is Morton Blackwell, one of three Virginia members of the RNC and therefore one who will decide the party’s leadership direction in voting early next year.

“It’s time for a change,” Blackwell said in a public statement disseminated by the Arlington County Republican Committee, noting that he would support RNC member Harmeet Dhillon over Ronna McDaniel, who is seeking a new term as chair.

Dhillon is “a Republican star, a Wonder Woman of many talents and unbounded energy,” Blackwell wrote. “She has a long and successful record as a leader for conservative principles at the state and national levels. She has used her talent and genius to go on offense against far-left progressives and in support of free speech in academia, online, and free and fair elections.”


Blackwell is a longtime conservative sachem, dating to when he was the youngest Barry Goldwater delegate at the 1964 Republican National Convention. He in 1979 founded and continues to head the Leadership Institute, an Arlington-based organization that provides training to Republican and conservative activists and candidates.

Blackwell was first elected to one of Virginia’s Republican National Committee posts in 1988, and currently serves on its rules committee. In 1980, he was a Ronald Reagan delegate at the Republican National Convention (having been an alternate for him in 1968 and 1976), and served on Reagan’s White House staff from 1981 to 1984.

McDaniel, who if re-elected would become the longest-serving RNC chair in party history, has been criticized for the party’s lackluster performance in the 2022 midterms.

Also planning a run is MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell. RNC members will make their choice in late January.

According to Arlington County Republican Committee communications director Matthew Hurtt (who has worked closely over the years with Blackwell), there has been a surge in grass-roots support for Dhillon.

“Morton and the other voting members of the Republican National Committee from Virginia — Patti Lyman, committeewoman, and Rich Anderson, Republican Party of Virginia chairman — have received hundreds of e-mails in support of Harmeet Dhillon and/or in opposition to Ronna McDaniel’s re-election,” Hurtt wrote in an e-mail to the local Republican rank-and-file. “The Arlington GOP has likewise received e-mails asking us to communicate with our RNC members on this matter.”

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