LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan Republicans picked a niece of Mitt Romney on Saturday to lead the state party for the next two years.
Ronna Romney McDaniel got 55 percent of the vote on the first ballot before delegates made the selection unanimous. Bobby Schostak didn't seek another two-year term after four years as chairman.
Republicans control the state Capitol but haven't delivered Michigan to a GOP presidential candidate since 1988. President Barack Obama defeated Romney, a Michigan native, and picked up the state's electoral votes in 2012.
"We might not agree on everything, but we can agree that seven years of liberal Obama policies have a destructive effect on our nation and we need to get a Republican in the White House through Michigan in 2016," McDaniel, 41, of Northville, told the convention.
The other candidates for party chair were Norm Hughes, who worked for former President Ronald Reagan, and Kim Shmina, a nurse.
Mike Farage of Grand Rapids said he voted for McDaniel partly because she wants to make the party more appealing to minorities — "the elephant in the room" for Republicans.
Republicans made some changes in local leadership Friday night as Norm Shinkle in the 8th District and Paul Welday in the 14th District were defeated.
Gov. Rick Snyder, who was re-elected in November, recorded a video greeting but didn't attend the convention while he recovers from a blood clot in his leg, spokesman Dave Murray said.