Washington, D.C. – On December 1, 2023, the Board of Governors of the Republican National Lawyers Association (RNLA) elected new officers to lead the organization. They will join the incumbent officers in leading the over 5,000 member-strong organization in 2024.
The following attorneys were elected to fill positions for 2024:
Chair Marc Ellinger is a founding partner of Ellinger Bell, focusing his practice on election law, gaming law, legislative and rulemaking practice, issues of state and federal constitutional law, and appellate practice. Marc has more than twenty-five years of experience in election law and campaign finance compliance, including the representation of candidates as well as ballot measure campaigns, candidates, and Political Action Committees. Marc is also actively involved in representing businesses and individuals in gaming law, particularly with respect to state licensing and compliance matters. Marc is recognized by Best Lawyers of America, Super Lawyers, and is also a licensed CPA. Marc was named the Republican Lawyer of the Year in 2022.
Outgoing RNLA Chair Harmeet Dhillon said, “Congratulations to Marc Ellinger and the rest of the officers on their election. Marc has been a dedicated RNLA leader for many years and is well-suited to lead the organization during this important presidential election cycle. I look forward to seeing what RNLA accomplishes under Marc’s tenure as Chair!”
Co-Chair Patricia Paoletta is Partner at HWG LLP, where she specializes in telecommunications, trade, and technology policy. Tricia provides advice on regulatory, trade and legislative policy to clients before the FCC, Congress, and the Administration. Her clients include providers of AI apps, cloud, mobile broadband, VoIP, international telecommunications, subsea cable, land public safety, and homeland security solutions. She serves on Advisory Boards for several entities engaged in information services, communications, and technology including the Pacific Telecom Council. Tricia has worked extensively in the judicial nominations process. She was RNLA’s 2021 Virginia Volunteer of the Year.
President Michael Thielen has served as the Republican National Lawyers Association’s Executive Director since 2000. Michael was an Alternate Delegate to the Republican National Convention in 2008 and 2020 and was on the National Board of Lawyers for Trump in 2020. He has also served as an appointed a member of the Presidential Rank review board. Michael regularly speaks on the issues of election administration and judicial confirmation. Michael also works as a policy advisor for Lawyers Democracy Fund.
Chris Marston will serve as Vice President for Communications. Chris is the founder of Election CFO and is also Of Counsel at Dunlap Bennett & Ludwig. He was the 2023 recipient of the Robert J. Horn Chairman’s Award.
John Fogarty will serve as Vice President for Judicial Affairs. John is in private practice in Chicago, Illinois.
Kevin Hanratty will serve as Vice President for Membership.* Kevin is a banking consultant in addition to working as an attorney. He was the 2022 recipient of the Betty Murphy Award.
Charlie Spies will serve as Vice President for Programming. Charlie is a Member in the Washington, D.C., office of Dickinson Wright PLLC. He was the 2023 Republican Lawyer of the Year.
Darby Thorne will serve as VP for D.C. Operations. Darby is the Director of Political Compliance at the National Association of REALTORS.
Roger Barth will serve as Treasurer. Roger is in private practice in Washington, D.C.
The following officers will continue their current roles in 2024:
- Tom Wheeler, First Vice President
- Trevor Stanley, Vice President for Election Education
- Ben Gibson, Secretary*
For more information about the RNLA’s officers and the other members of the Board of Governors, please visit the Leadership page on the RNLA’s website: http://www.rnla.org/leadership.
The RNLA is the national organization of Republican attorneys. The mission of the RNLA is to advance professionalism; open, fair, and honest elections; career opportunity; and Republican ideals. For more information, please visit http://www.rnla.org.
* ex officio