Assuming the role of RNC chairman in 2011, Reince Priebus remains popular among establishment Republicans, but concern over the possibility Priebus could preside over a party which faces defeat in a second-straight presidential election has inspired one GOP operative to stand for the party chairmanship should nominee Donald Trump lose the election.
Kansas native Ned Ryun, a former speech writer for President George W. Bush and son of former Kansas congressman Jim Ryun, is quietly organizing a bid to unseat Priebus should he choose to seek reelection as RNC chair.
Known to symbolize the anti-establishment wing of the Republican Party, Ryun is a founder of Generation Joshua, a Christian group devoted to youth civic involvement, and CEO of American Majority, a non-profit organization established to educate and train conservative activists.
Boasting of insight, vision and leadership, when reached for a comment, Ryun stated:
“The priority between now and Tuesday is making sure that Hillary Clinton doesn’t win the White House and that Democrats don’t win the Senate. But after the election, if Trump loses and Priebus runs, I will absolutely run for chairman. With my background in grass roots, in data and technology, and not being an unknown quantity among mega-donors, I think I have a lot to offer for the future direction of the RNC and the GOP.”
Acknowledging the uphill battle he faces, Ryun referred to winning the RNC chair as “an insider’s game,” but expressed hope the party’s 168-member national committee would be open to listen to his concerns and his proposals for change.
Aside from earning the confidence of party insiders, per party rules, Ryun must secure a majority of backing from three state delegations to be nominated for the top position at the RNC.
Although others have indicated an interest in unseating Priebus, former GOP primary candidate Carly Fiorina among them, the undertaking to oust the current chairman is unlikely should either Trump win the White House or Priebus announce his intent to seek a fourth term.
Should Trump lose, perhaps Ryun’s attempt to take control of the RNC would be viewed not as a surreptitious grab at power, but a needed change for Republicans on the national level.