With a new position in the Republican National Committee, Mitt Romney's niece says she aims to unite Tea Party and establishment Republicans and mend party divides.
Ronna Romney McDaniel, 40, was elected to an unpaid position as a delegate from Michigan to the Republican National Committee, after Terri Lynn Land resigned to focus on her Senate campaign. Romney McDaniel will finish Land's term, which expires in 2016.
"I know there is one thing we are all united behind, and that is we have to defeat the Democrats," Romney McDaniel said upon being elected in Michigan. "We have to keep our eye on the prize."
Romney McDaniel's mother, Ronna Romney, served as a Michigan RNC committeewoman from 1984 to 1992, according to MLive. Much of Romney McDaniel's national political experience came during her uncle's failed presidential campaign, for which she helped organize the "Women For Mitt" movement. She has also served as a Republican precinct delegate and committeewoman.
"Working for the Women For Mitt Coalition and traveling around the state, speaking to women during that race prepared me for this position and kind of gave me a taste of what it is like to talk to women about issues facing them," she told the Northville (Mich.) Record.
Romney McDaniel will serve alongside another Michigan RNC member who has made headlines of late: Dave Agema, a former state representative whose derogatory comments about gay people and Muslims have led many fellow Republicans, including national RNC chair Reince Priebus, to call for his resignation.
She told the Record she doesn't think Agema's views are held by the majority of her fellow Republicans.
"I think my role is to represent the Republican Party, which is a party that is respectful and dignified of all people of all circumstances," she said, adding later, "I don’t identify with any language that is derogatory or inflammatory towards any group or person. And the Republicans I know don’t agree with that either."
Romney McDaniel won election by acclimation after Sandra Kahn of Saginaw County and Mary Helen Sears of Houghton County withdrew their candidacies for Land's open RNC seat, MLive reported. Sears had also attracted media attention after writings she published surfaced comparing homosexuality to Satan and urging Republicans to purge gays from the party.