Sacramento, CA: Harmeet Dhillon, vice chair of the California Republican Party, is currently running unopposed to represent the state as committeewoman for the Republican National Committee. The RNC allots each state a chairman to the National Committee, along with one committee man and one committee woman. The state’s delegates will vote for the posts April 30, during the upcoming California Republican Party convention in Burlingame, Calif.
Linda Ackerman, who has held the post for eight years, earlier this month said she would not run again this year. Her term will end after the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, which begins July 18.
Indian American attorney Dhillon’s term as vice chair of the state party ends this year. She told India-West it was “a natural progression” for her to take on a role at the national level. The role entails determining the party’s policy for the next four years and deciding the party’s presidential candidate during the 2020 election cycle.
Dhillon has previously served as the GOP’s chairman in San Francisco County and has served as vice chair of the state party since 2013, the first Indian American to serve in that role. In a Feb. 22 statement announcing her candidacy, Dhillon said she has worked tirelessly to build a strong Republican Party in the state.
“I’ve fought hard for the party and for the future of California in just about every way a volunteer can – and as I have been doing since I was a teenager in the conservative movement,” she said.
“It’s time that California had a strong advocate in the RNC, to promote California’s interests at the national party level. For too long, California has been neglected by our national party,” said Dhillon.
Dhillon has won the endorsement of almost all members of the California State Senate and Assembly Republican Caucuses. She has also won the endorsement of the California Republican Party’s Board of Directors and a majority of county chairmen. She has assembled a team of volunteers who plan over the next six weeks to speak to every delegate in the state to pledge their support. Dhillon said she hopes for a unanimous vote.
The 2016 presidential election cycle poses some interesting challenges for the Republican Party, Dhillon told India-West, noting that billionaire contender Donald Trump has brought more interest and a greater number of people to the polls.
“Trump as the leading candidate is not in keeping with the image of our party. There is a lot of hand-wringing going on, because he’s ‘not one of us,’” said Dhillon. “But a lot of Republicans equally feel that the party has not done its job” in keeping the Obama administration in check, she said.
The veteran politician — who has run unsuccessfully for the state Assembly and Senate — said obliquely that she differs from Trump’s ideology, leaning more towards the late Jack Kemp and Ronald Reagan’s style of conservative policy. “I will support the nominee of the party,” she added, noting that she is not supporting anyone at this juncture.
California will more than likely determine the party’s nominee, said Dhillon, noting there was no chance that Republican contenders Texas Senator Ted Cruz or Ohio Governor John Kasich would drop out of the race before the national convention. Kasich has stated his support for a brokered convention, even if one candidate does have the necessary number of delegates to get the party’s nomination.
If Trump continues to amass delegates at his current rate, no one will have the required number of delegates — 1,237 — to win the nomination outright. After the Mar. 15 primaries in Illinois, Ohio, Florida, Missouri and North Carolina, Trump had amassed 673 delegates, while Cruz had 411 and Kasich 143.
A total of 885 delegates still remain un-allotted. Trump would have to win 564 more delegates to get the party’s nomination outright, a feat which Dhillon predicts is mathematically impossible.