Headline, Politics

Republican donors backing Dhillon for RNC chair: Report

Chandigarh, India-born attorney poses a tough challenge to RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel amid calls for leadership change

Indian American attorney Harmeet Dhillon, a supporter of former President Donald Trump, has found support from a group of Republican donors in the race for Republican National Committee (RNC) leadership.

Dhillon, who represented Trump during the Jan 6 select committee’s probe that tried to subpoena him, has challenged current RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel, who has led the RNC since 2017.

Born in Chandigarh, India to a Punjabi Sikh family in 1969, Dhillon, has served as chair of the Republican National Lawyers Association and as a former chair of the San Francisco Republican Party.

Read: Attorney Harmeet Dhillon threatens UC Berkeley with lawsuit over cancellation of Ann Coulter’s event (April 24, 2017)

Calling for a change in leadership at the RNC, the group of more than two dozen Republican donors threw their support behind Dhillon in a letter to RNC members dated Monday Fox News and The Hill reported.

Several of the individuals listed on the letter have donated tens of thousands of dollars to the Republican Party over the years.

“We cannot continue on our current trajectory as a Republican Party,” the letter states. “We must change, in order to fulfill our promise to Republican voters to win elections.”

The donors warned the party “is on the verge of permanent irrelevance if we fail to come together to correct course.”

McDaniel has overseen elections where the party has lost the House in 2018 and White House and Senate in 2020. She has come under increased scrutiny after what was largely seen as disappointing results in the 2022 midterm elections, the Hill noted.

The Hill described Dhillon’s campaign to oust her at the top of the party as “her toughest leadership challenge yet” as several other Republicans too have signaled interest in new leadership.

The Alabama Republican Party said it would not support McDaniel in her bid to lead the RNC again. In December, the Texas Republican Party also said in a unanimous vote that it would support McDaniel being replaced, it noted.

A poll released earlier this month cited by the Hill found a large majority of Republican voters backing a leadership change.

Politico too suggested last month that “A Dhillon candidacy would mark the most serious challenge to McDaniel to date.”

“After three successive terms of underwhelming results at the polls for the GOP, all the while with leaders congratulating ourselves for outstanding performance, I feel that we owe it to our voters to have a serious debate about the leadership of the party and what we must change to actually win in 2024,” Dhillon said in a statement launching her campaign last month.

“Tens of thousands of Republicans have contacted me in recent weeks about the future of the party, demanding that we make changes in order to fulfill our only function of electing Republicans nationally,” she stated as cited by Politico.

The committee’s 168 members will hold a vote to determine the RNC chairmanship at the committee’s annual winter meeting, which is set to be held in late January in Dana Point, California.

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