Harmeet Dhillon: Indian-American lawyer who may replace McDaniel as RNC chair - Hindustan Times

Who is Harmeet Dhillon? Indian-American lawyer who may replace Ronna McDaniel as RNC chair

ByShweta Kukreti
Feb 07, 2024 05:06 PM IST

While there are reports that Harmeet Dhillon may replace McDaniel, sources told the POST that Donald Trump is likely to promote Michael Whatley as RNC chair.

Ronna McDaniel, the Republican National Committee (RNC) chair, may soon step down from the position. According to two persons acquainted with her plans, McDaniel told former President Donald Trump that she would resign after the South Carolina Republican presidential primary on February 24, NY POST reported.

Chandigarh-born Harmeet Kaur Dhillon(Photo: Facebook)
Chandigarh-born Harmeet Kaur Dhillon(Photo: Facebook)

While there are reports that Harmeet Kaur Dhillon, the former vice chairwoman of the California Republican Party, may replace McDaniel, sources told the POST that Trump is likely to promote North Carolina GOP chair Michael Whatley as RNC chair.

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Ahead of 2024 US presidential elections, Republican frontrunner Trump has been demanding changes and new leadership at the GOP's national party committee.

Also Read: The RNC chairwoman calls for unity as the party faces a cash crunch and attacks by some Trump allies

As per Fox News, the former president met with McDaniel on Monday at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida.

Following the discussion, Trump stated on his Truth Social platform that McDaniel was a "friend," but that he will be pushing for changes at the RNC following the GOP presidential primary in South Carolina.

"Ronna is now Head of the RNC, and I’ll be making a decision the day after the South Carolina Primary as to my recommendations for RNC Growth," the former president stated .

McDaniel, who took office in 2017, has been facing criticism for the GOP's funds problems and for repeated electoral defeats since 2020, leading to calls for her resignation.

As reports of McDaniel's expected resignation surfaced on social media, several X users were quick to ask if Dhillon is going to replace her.

‘Each version of RNC Game of Thrones I hear…’: Dhillon reacts

Taking to X (formerly Twitter), Harmeet Dhillon confirmed she is "not seeking" to replace McDaniel, stating “each version of RNC Game of Thrones I hear is worse than the last one.”

“To be clear, I'm not seeking the chair position. We had an election, I lost, shook the victor's hand, and offered my support. But there are plenty of folks gunning for it. Happy where I am. I love the law!” she added.

Last year, Dhillon ran against McDaniel for the post. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis endorsed her, but Dhillon only earned 51 votes from committee members—less than half of McDaniel's 111 total.

Meanwhile, Dublin Scott Lucas, a professor in international politics at University College, told Newsweek that Dhillon may be doubtful whether she can defeat McDaniel, it's more probable that she made this choice because "she just doesn't want to get involved in the mess."

Who is Harmeet Dhillon?

Born in Chandigarh, Harmeet Dhillon immigrated to the United States with her family to flee the “Russian-style socialism” of India, she told the Dartmouth Alumni Magazine in 2013. They first resided in London before making the permanent move to the US.

In a 2013 interview, Dhillon told the San Francisco Chronicle that she had an arranged marriage but she left her husband who almost "beat me to death" and enrolled at the University of Virginia School of Law. Later, she got married to Sarvjit Randhawa, a retired nuclear engineer.

As a lawyer, Dhillon has handled matters involving intellectual property, employment discrimination, unfair competition or trade secret misappropriation, and civil rights. She also examines cases concerning election and campaign law matters.

Also Read: Republican National Committee plans to soon consider declaring Trump the ''presumptive 2024 nominee''

In 2006, she started her own firm ‘Dhillon Law Group’ and engaged in "conservative activism."

In 2013, Dhillon was selected to serve on the board of the California Republican Party. She was appointed as a national committeewoman for the RNC in 2016.

Dhillon gave a speech at Trump's "Social Media Summit" on July 11, 2019. She co-chairs the Women for Trump organisation.

Dhillon has filed lawsuits against stay-at-home orders during the COVID outbreak in 2020 in California. She has also filed litigations against subpoenas issued for Trump regarding the Capitol riots and on behalf of Trump supporters who alleged police failed to protect them during the protest.

What are the duties of RNC?

The Republican National Committee (RNC) is the main committee of the Republican Party of the United States.

The RNC's main task is to support the Republican Party. It contributes to the advancement of the Republican political platform and the "party brand" or image. It facilitates the planning of election strategy and fundraising.

"Convening a national convention to nominate candidates for president and vice president, and holding two annual meetings for the RNC member body over which the chair presides," are the two mandatory duties listed in the RNC bylaws, according to The Washington Post.

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