Former President Donald Trump’s daughter-in-law, Lara Trump, has now officially replaced Ronna McDaniel as the new co-chair of the Republican National Committee (RNC) following a unanimous vote.

Despite having no previous campaign or political organizing experience, Lara — who is the wife of the former president’s son, Eric — is now in charge of the Republican Party’s national organization, and is tasked with both retaking the White House in 2024 along with regaining control of the US Senate. Michael Whatley ascended to the top of the GOP along with Lara, after he previously served as chairman of the North Carolina Republican Party.

Many in the MAGA movement celebrated Lara Trump’s election, but plenty of other conservatives were not as enthusiastic. Right-wing influencer Wendy Patterson, who has more than 150,000 followers on X (formerly Twitter), suggested she may leave the GOP altogether after the news of Lara Trump’s ascendancy to the top of the RNC.

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“Bad idea and shame on her for usurping Scott Pressler,” Patterson tweeted, referring to the GOP activist many other conservatives hoped would lead the RNC after McDaniel’s exit. “I’m coming hard and fast with the I told you so… This country doesn’t stand a chance if you’re still voting for popularity contests.”

“I decided I’m not going to be in the party of popular elites,” Patterson wrote in response to a comment urging her to “unite” with the rest of the party. “I’m changing my affiliation. Republicans are just as dumb as Democrats.”

X user @TyRWilliams1, who describes himself as a Navy veteran and an attorney, wrote the GOP had become “a full-blown corruption riddled nepotism laden cult of incompetency.” Iraq veteran Peter Henlein tweeted that he was now “out” after “a lifetime of donating to every GOP nominee and multiple down ballot candidates every cycle.”

“I donated to help win elections, not to maintain the lifestyle of a billionaire,” he wrote. “No point donating now.”

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Several other conservatives expressed concerns that Lara Trump running the RNC would mean that the party’s coffers would be raided to pay the former president’s astronomical legal expenses. Trump recently posted a bond of more than $90 million to appeal his judgment in writer E. Jean Carroll’s defamation lawsuit against him, and he has yet to post a bond for the $454 million judgment from the civil fraud case he lost to New York Attorney General Letitia James. X user @GardensR4Health — who describes herself as a “strong conservative” in her bio — said her “entire family cut the RNC off today.

“We are NOT paying for Trump’s legal bills. Lara Trump was clear, everyone get on board with paying his legal or she will kick you out of the GOP. Well kick me out then! This is absolutely disgusting,” she wrote. “We used to be fiscal conservatives.”

Heath Mayo, the founder of the Principles First conference (which bills itself as an alternative to the far-right Conservative Political Action Conference) lamented that the GOP “is now run by a Trump who will use the party finances to pay Donald’s legal bills,” and added he couldn’t fathom “how any serious person could want to be part of that, much less think we ought to let those same folks run our country, too.”

With Lara Trump in charge of the RNC, some Republicans worried that the GOP could lose competitive US Senate races where Democrats are running for reelection in pro-Trump states, like in Montana and Ohio. Republicans also need to fend off Democrats’ attempts to flip just two GOP-controlled seats in the House of Representatives to retake the majority in the lower chamber of Congress. Iowa-based Republican X user “Keith in Ames” said that Lara Trump leading the RNC would “screw the down ticket offices,” and would “destroy everything else for Trump.” Conservative Navy veteran Dan Stilwell had a similar take, simply tweeting a GIF of The Simpsons character Ralph Wiggum sitting on a bus saying “I’m in danger,” in which Wiggum was meant to symbolize “down ballot candidates.”

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