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I’ve seen the dangers of Michael Whatley’s ‘leadership.’ It’s clear why Trump chose him.

It’s clear that Trump is looking for an RNC leader who won’t hesitate to disenfranchise voters, rig elections or dismantle our democracy.

Recently, Donald Trump announced his pick to succeed Ronna McDaniel as chair of the Republican National Committee: Michael Whatley, the current head of the North Carolina Republican Party. Whatley is far less well known nationally than Trump’s choice for co-chair, his daughter-in-law Lara Trump. But for those of us in North Carolina, the choice of Whatley for the top spot makes a twisted sort of sense.

It’s clear that Trump is looking for an RNC leader who won’t hesitate to disenfranchise voters, rig elections or dismantle our democracy. And Whatley certainly fits that bill. As chair of the North Carolina Republican Party, he has helped lead efforts to defy the will of the people and infringe on North Carolinians’ rights. I would know because I’m the 26-year-old chair of the North Carolina Democratic Party, and I’ve seen the dangers of Whatley’s version of leadership up close.

North Carolina Republicans have worked repeatedly to take away the right to vote, and schemed to create rigged maps so that elected officials pick their voters.

For years, the Republican-led Legislature and Supreme Court have focused their agenda on taking away North Carolinians’ rights and hurting our economy. To protect their power, Republicans in North Carolina have worked repeatedly to take away the right to vote, and schemed to create rigged maps so that elected officials pick their voters — not the other way around. And when they’ve faced opposition, including from our twice-elected Gov. Roy Cooper, they’ve taken outrageous steps to expand their power.

As part of these efforts, Whatley has led the North Carolina GOP from extreme to even more extreme. He’s made banning abortion a priority for the state party, despite the majority of North Carolinians supporting access to abortion. He’s a proud and unapologetic election denier who repeatedly parroted debunked claims of “massive fraud” and “focused heavily on disproven claims of widespread voter fraud” in the 2020 election. He even tried to push the State Board of Elections to call races in 2020 before all the votes had been counted.

The silver lining for Trump’s foes is that, amid Whatley’s efforts to undermine democracy, he’s done a very bad job of running a state party. After North Carolina Democrats elected me chair, we’ve outraised him and outnumbered him in candidate recruitment this cycle. In this latest round of fundraising, we easily outraised the North Carolina GOP, and Whatley’s operation spent $500,000 more than it took in. As Democrats build momentum in the Tar Heel State, voters just aren’t buying what the Whatley-led NCGOP are selling.

But you don’t need to take my word for it. As soon as Trump announced his support for Whatley, folks across the political spectrum, including conservatives, criticized the choice. Newsweek reported that Trump faced a “rebellion” for choosing Whatley. Former RNC spokesperson and veteran Republican operative Doug Heye suggested that to get Whatley appointed RNC chair, “there may be some work that has to be done on that. … It may not be a unanimous vote.”

The reviews from Tar Heel Republicans were even worse. Former Republican Gov. Pat McCrory said, “I’d been advised early on by people I respect to never trust him, and it turns out they were right.” A regional GOP chair told The Washington Post that “the grass roots in North Carolina has completely walked away from the GOP and Michael Whatley’s leadership.” After spreading lies about the existence of fraud due to electronic voting software, Whatley was sued by members of his own party for claims he rigged his re-election as chair using — you guessed it — a voting app.

With Whatley helming today’s Republican Party, voters won’t see any focus on an agenda to deliver results for the American people.

So, why would Whatley be Trump’s choice? Because he is an unflinchingly loyal MAGA extremist who will stop at nothing to stay in Trump’s good graces. Not facts or evidence. Not the rule of law. Not our Constitution. Not what voters want. Nothing will stop him from doing what Trump wants, even if it’s at the expense of the people.

With Whatley helming today’s Republican Party, voters won’t see any focus on an agenda to deliver results for the American people. His day-one priority will be delivering for Donald Trump. With Michael Whatley as RNC chair, the stakes of this election are about to rise even higher.