The first major elections to take place this summer since President Donald Trump backed Republican candidates for leadership races in Washington will be decided with secret ballots.
The elections, which will decide the leaders of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) and the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), will be conducted on July 16, and will require all voters to cast their ballots in an anonymous fashion.
The ultimate outcome will show whether Trump’s endorsement will carry weight in the Republican Party in Washington. Trump recently backed NRSC chair Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado for re-election and NRCC chair Rep. Tom Emmer of Minnesota for a second term.
The decisions will be conducted in closed-door meetings that will take place during Senate and House GOP conferences in July. The candidates must receive a simple majority of the votes from Republican senators and representatives to win.
This system of secret ballot voting has been a long-standing tradition for in-party congressional elections. It was established to ensure all members, regardless of party affiliation or ties to any particular candidate, would be able to cast their vote without fear of retribution or criticism.
Trump’s highly public endorsement of Congress leaders puts an interesting twist on the proceedings. However, in the end, the vote of the individual members will determine the outcome.