GOP picks Ronna Romney McDaniel to lead party operation

Michigan Republican Party Chairman Ronna Romney McDaniel speaks before President-elect Donald Trump arrives at a rally at DeltaPlex Arena, Friday, Dec. 9, 2016, in Grand Rapids, Mich. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

WASHINGTON (AP/WOOD) — The Republican National Committee has selected a woman to lead the party.

While relatively unknown nationally, Michigan Republican Ronna Romney McDaniel was elected to serve as RNC chairman on Thursday. Committee members from across the nation are gathered in Washington on the eve of President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration.

Shortly after the announcement, Lt. Gov. Brian Calley tweeted out a congratulatory message to Romney McDaniel.

McDaniel was Trump’s preferred choice. She’s also the niece of prominent Trump critic, 2012 presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

She had previously served as the Michigan GOP chairman. She helped deliver a win in the state that proved critical to Trump’s election. She also earned credit with Trump by supporting him despite pointed criticism from her famous uncle.

McDaniel’s election comes as the GOP works to improve its standing with women and minorities. The vast majority of Trump’s Cabinet and senior staff are white men.