What Impact Will Mike Lindell Have on Race for RNC Chair? My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell is interviewed during a campaign rally at Sioux Gateway Airport in Sioux City, Iowa, on Nov. 3, 2022. (Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)
By John Gizzi Thursday, 26 January 2023 05:59 AM EST Current | Bio | Archive
To the surprise of several participants and attendees at the Republican National Committee's Winter Meeting in Dana Point, California, Mike Lindell met the requirements to have his name placed in nomination in the election for the national chair Friday.
The MyPillow CEO had submitted signatures from RNC members in three states or territories and will therefore qualify to compete for the party helm against incumbent Ronna McDaniel and California National Committee member Harmeet Dhillon.
"And I will proudly deliver the nominating speech," Louisiana National Committee member and former state legislator Lenar Whitney told Newsmax on Tuesday night.
The impact Lindell will have on the race is uncertain. Some RNC members who spoke to Newsmax said he will have no impact at all, and that those who signed forms on his behalf cannot be counted on to vote for him in the race for the chair.
Others told Newsmax that there is a "hidden" Lindell vote and that he just might keep McDaniel and Dhillon from securing the majority of the 168-member RNC required to elect a chair.
Under such circumstances, the contest would go to an unanticipated second ballot.
Newsmax asked Lindell whether he would still be making his familiar argument that the 2020 election was stolen from former President Donald Trump if elected party chair.
"I'm not talking about 2020," Lindell said. "I'm talking about getting rid of electronic voting machines. And some states and counties are finally listening to me."
Lindell specifically cited Cleburne County, Arkansas, which recently voted to end its use of ballot and become a "paper county." In Missouri, he noted, Republican Gov. Mike Parsons recently signed legislation that will end the use of electronic voting machines by Jan. 1, 2024.
"So Missouri will soon be machine free," Lindell told Newsmax, adding that "I have filed 50 lawsuits in all 50 states to get rid of the electronic machines that get so many people thinking elections are fraudulent. This has cost about $40 million so far and, yes, I am paying for it all myself."
Lindell's welcoming party for RNC members at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in Dana Point attracted McDaniel supporters such as District of Columbia GOP chair Patrick Mara as well as Dhillon backers such as Louisiana National Committee member Roger Villere. Although few may end up voting for him, it was obvious that many on the RNC agreed with and liked the "MyPillow Guy."
John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.