- The 54-year-old Trump loyalist is running to replace the current chair, Ronna McDaniel.
Harmeet Dillon, who is running to replace Ronna McDaniel as the chair of the Republican National Committee (RNC), has alleged that she is facing bigoted attacks from her fellow party leaders because of her Sikh faith. The longtime conservative activist has served as chairperson of the Republican National Lawyers Association and as head of the San Francisco Republican Party. She is currently a national committeewoman of the RNC for California.
In a series of tweets, the 54-year-old Trump loyalist, citing the backlash, asserted that she would not give up and continue to be in the race for the top position. “Some Ronna stans knock me for not being huggable & ‘nice’ enough,” she tweeted on Jan. 17. “I’ll allow it — but I’m not running for prom queen; I’m running to lead the RNC out of the fug of malaise, mediocrity & ‘good enough,’ into a lean, mean, ballot-returning machine!”
A day earlier, she tweeted about the threats from McDaniel’s supporters. “To be very clear, no amount of threats to me or my team, or bigoted attacks on my faith traceable directly to associates of the chair, will deter me from advancing positive change at the RNC, which includes new standards of accountability, transparency, integrity, and decency,” she wrote.
Earlier this month, a group of GOP megadonors supporting Dhillon’s bid for RNC chair sent a letter to members noting that the party could become “irrelevant” unless it comes together and supports a change of leadership. “The perception amongst a growing number of Republican Party donors and activists is that the RNC needs fresh leadership in order to make the necessary changes to win elections.” They urged the RNC members to rally behind Dhillon to replace McDaniel. “We are calling on members of the RNC to thank Ronna McDaniel for her service and to support the only RNC member seeking to succeed her, Harmeet Dhillon — a bold visionary with the energy and experience to retool the party for success in 2024 and beyond.”
Last week, Politico quoted two supporters of Dhillon who confirmed the backlash against Dhillon because of her faith. The publication also cited an email sent to an RNC member by “a purported supporter of MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, where the sender urged the recipient to support Lindell, an ‘ardent Christian conservative.’” “She is an Indian Sikh by birth and heritage, Not of Judeo-Christian worldview,” the emailer wrote of Dhillon. “None of these core character positions aligns with the Republican Party Platform, planks, or conservatism in general.”
Meanwhile, McDaniel told Politico that she “wholeheartedly condemn[s] religious bigotry in any form.” In an email sent to Politico, she said the GOP is “the party of faith, family and freedom, and these attacks have no place in our party or our politics. As a member of a minority faith myself, I would never condone such attacks. I have vowed to run a positive campaign and will continue to do so.”
However, The Wall Street Journal cited some veteran committee members predicting that McDaniel could win a fourth two-year term as chair at a Jan. 25-27 meeting in Southern California.