Indian origin now makes bid for Republican leadership

Wednesday 14th December 2022 05:26 EST

Washington: A self-described "Punjaban" from Chandigarh is running for the Republican Party's top organisational leadership position. Harmeet Dhillon, the chairwoman of the Republican National Committee from California, announced her candidacy for the national position against incumbent Ronna McDaniel, claiming she was sick of the Republican Party consistently losing elections and that she wanted to "modernize" the Grand Old Party to compete with Democrats. “Grassroots Republicans, donors and fellow RNC members alike have been reaching out to me since the midterm elections seeking changes in Republican leadership,” Dhillon said, adding, “After successive disappointing election cycles, I believe we owe it to our voters to have an honest dialogue about the direction of our party and what needs to change for us to win in 2024.”

The RNC chair position is decided by a majority vote of the committee's 168 members, including state GOP chairs and national committee members. McDaniel had previously declared her intention to run for a third term. Mike Lindell, the CEO of a pillow company who, like Dhillon, is a fervent supporter of Trump and has his endorsement, is also running. When the RNC holds its winter meeting in January, a vote is anticipated.

The RNC chair typically supervises grassroots activity, the logistics and mechanics of hosting the party convention and nominating the presidential candidate, although she or he lacks the clout and profile of the prospective or nominated Presidential candidate.

Dhillon, who tweets with the handle @pnjaban, came to the US as a child when her father, an orthopedic surgeon, emigrated in the 1970s. After attending school in North Carolina, she went to Dartmouth College and later graduated from the University of Virginia School of Law. She began her public life in the liberal spectrum of California politics, becoming a board member of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) after the 9/11 attacks, and working on discrimination against Sikhs and other South Asians.

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