Casino tycoon Steve Wynn resigned this January 27, Saturday as the finance chairman of the Republic National Committee (RNC), a day after reports revealed that the billionaire had engaged in multiple instances of sexual harassment and assault.
This decision could prove to be a huge blow to the fundraising efforts of the Republic Party as it preps itself for the midterm elections coming up in November with a rather unpopular president as its standard bearer.
On January 27, RNC's Ronna Romney McDaniel said, "Today I accepted Steve Wynn's resignation as Republican National Committee finance chair."
Wynn confirmed his resignation, saying, "The unbelievable success we have achieved must continue. The work we are doing to make America a better place is too important to be impaired by this distraction."
Steve Wynn is the founder of the famous Wynn Resorts Ltd.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Wynn paid $7.5 million to settle claims brought by an ex-manicurist at his Las Vegas resort who said that he pressured her to have sex with him. Other reports of allegations of harassment and coercion by other women were also mentioned.
Wynn, who turned 76 that same Saturday, has strongly denied the allegations, "The idea that I ever assaulted any woman is preposterous."
The Wynn Resorts board of directors has put up a special committee made up of independent directors to conduct the investigation of the allegations. In a statement, the board said, "The board is deeply committed to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of all of the company's employees and to operating with the highest ethical standards."
The allegations have certainly come at a fragile moment for the party, which needs to maintain its financial foundation as it faces an expensive Senate race in Florida and a wave of retiring House incumbents. Also, the party is having a hard time trying to improve its standing with women after its reputation has been tarnished in Alabama last year. Roy Moore, the candidate of the party for what had been one of its safest Senate seats, unfortunately lost after allegations came up saying that when he was in his mid-30s, he had sexually assaulted a 14-year-old girl and also pursued other teens.
The Republican party also have to deal with the fact that President Donald Trump, who personally asked Steve Wynn to become the party's top fundraiser, was also put in the bad limelight in 2016 for a video clip which showed him making lewd comments during the taping of the TV program "Access Hollywood" in 2005. Separately, a total of 19 women have accused the president of sexual misconduct as well.
Under Steve Wynn, the RNC had set a fundraising record in 2017 for a non-election year. Mainly thanks to the big donors that Wynn was able to attract, the RNC ended November with $33.5 million more in the bank as compared to its Democratic rival.
CEO of oilfield services firm Canary LLC and a Republican fundraiser Dan Eberhart said, "Most of the credit for the cash on hand advantage goes to chairwoman McDaniel and her team. But Wynn was certainly a part of the success. He will be hard to replace, especially mid-cycle. It's another worry the Republicans don't need."
The RNC members shall be meeting up in Washington next week and they're expected to appoint a new finance chairperson. The next chair will be voted on right after the recommendation of McDaniel and Trump.