DANA POINT, Calif. — Ronna McDaniel won re-election to a fourth term as chair of the Republican National Committee on Friday, beating insurgent Harmeet Dhillon in a secret ballot at the party’s annual winter meeting.

McDaniel easily secured a majority of the 168 votes needed to win, with 111 votes to Dhillon’s 51, four for MyPillow founder Mike Lindell and one for former representative Lee Zeldin, RN.Y., who was not candidate.

McDaniel is now on his way to being the longest-serving Republican president since the 19th century. Joins Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., in avoiding challenges to their leadership following disappointing Republican election performance November midterm.

The contest was seemingly a foregone conclusion for months. McDaniel released a letter of endorsement from more than 100 of the RNC’s 168 members shortly after the midterms, an endorsement that led Zeldin to decide against running his own bid to lead the RNC.

But with the secret ballot and Dhillon’s aggressive campaign arguing that McDaniel should not be re-elected after the GOP’s shortcomings in November, members did not rule Dhillon out before the vote. Publicly, approximately 30 RNC members had pledged to Dhillon before the vote.

Lindell, one of the leading election conspirators, launched a long shot but never gained much momentum.

McDaniel’s supporters argued that she was better positioned to move the party forward due to her resource allocation and strong working relationship with state party leaders.

After the account was announced, McDaniel, Dhillon, and Lindell appeared on stage together in a unit demo. In a statement, McDaniel said she was «deeply grateful that our members have entrusted me with another term in this role.»

“I look forward to working alongside conservative leaders, including Harmeet and Mike, from across our party to deliver on our promises to the American people,” he said.

Harmeet Dhillon in her San Francisco office in 2017.Anda Chu / MediaNews Group / Bay Area News via Getty Images file

Even with McDaniel as the next president, many RNC members say they expect tensions to remain.

“After this is over tomorrow, it’s not over,” Jonathan Barnett, an Arkansas RNC committee member who endorsed Dhillon to lead the party, said before the vote. “It’s going to take some time to do some rebuilds, and Harmeet still has a strong voice. All of us who support Harmeet will not leave.»

Speaking to reporters after the vote, Dhillon said she was «disappointed» by the result, but reiterated her vow to put the defeat behind her and work with McDaniel to further Republican causes.

But he said the party «will have to deal with the consequences of being disconnected from the grassroots.» He added that he thinks some members «are going to feel a little different [about their votes] when they return home, particularly if they come from a state or county that voted overwhelmingly in favor of the RNC change.»

Some Dhillon supporters were quick to share their discontent with the vote. Charlie Kirk, conservative activist and founder of Turning Point USA, tweeted after the election that he was «truly shocked at how disconnected the NCR country club is from the people they ask for donations.»

«There’s a club of consultants who make crazy dollars off THEIR donations and now they’re proud of how they can defy the 90% party that wanted to see change,» he added.

The president’s vote was not the only agenda for the party on Friday. The RNC also approved a pack of nine resolutions on Friday in a voice vote. The resolutions included measures condemning anti-Semitism, opposing ranked-choice voting, calling for President Joe Biden to be held accountable for his administration’s handling of the US border with Mexico, pressing for the US to the country and broadly discourage the use of TikTok, including encouraging a ban on its use on federal government devices.

The anti-Semitism resolution directly called out hip-hop artist Kanye West and white supremacist Nick Fuentes, who dined with former President Donald Trump late last year, as well as Reps. Cori Bush, D-Mo., Ilhan Omar, D -Minn., and Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich.

Oscar Brock, a Dhillon supporter, said he would continue to push for greater party transparency after the election and vowed to work with McDaniel in the future.

«She’s not a bad person,» he said. «I mean, she’s not bad. She just wanted to win more elections.»

Looking ahead to 2024, Brock said the RNC has «the ability to get on track» but it remains an open question whether the party will.

As for his message to voters at home, Brock said, «We did everything in our power to get people to vote for change.»

«And at the end of the day, we just didn’t win,» he said. «So, that happens.»