Ronna McDaniel was elected to another term as GOP chair on Friday – she received 111 votes.
Lawyer and grassroots activist Harmeet Dhillon was the second-leading vote-getter at 51 votes.
She spoke to reporters after her loss.
Dhillon warned the RNC about ignoring the grassroots of the party saying, “if we go back to our homes and ignore this message, I think it’s at our peril. It’s at our peril personally, as party leaders and it’s at our peril for our party in general.”
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She vowed to work with Ronna McDaniel — but did charge that the RNC apparatus was not neutral in the race for the chair.
After the loss, Dhillon herself promised to support McDaniel to heal the party divisions, but that didn’t mean she is abandoning her reform platform or forgetting some of the tactics she said were used against her campaign.
“The results were not what we and our hundreds, thousands of supporters around the country were hoping for, and I think the party is going to have to deal with that fallout of being in a disconnect from the grassroots,” Dhillon told reporters after the election. “That said, I pledged throughout this campaign to work hand in hand with the party and with the winner of this election, whoever it was, and I intend to honor that pledge and continue to work hard with Ronna and with all the other leaders in the party, for the future of our party.”
Despite the ready concession, Dhillon didn’t hold back in criticizing the way McDaniel ran her campaign, accusing her of using party resources to help shore up her support.
“Virtually the entire apparatus of the Republican Party staff that’s close to the chairman worked on [McDaniel’s] campaign, and Richard Walters [the former RNC chief of staff] made phone calls and worked on this campaign,” she told reporters. “And no, that’s not fair. That is using corporate resources for personal benefit.”
She also posted a video on Twitter telling supporters that this was just the beginning.
Dhillion said, “I just want to let everybody know that this is not thee end of the process it is really just the beginning of this movement.”
Video (partial transcript below)
A brief thought about the RNC Chair race. It’s been an honor to hear from all the Americans who reached out to share their views about the party’s leadership. While we are disappointed with the results, we started a movement & I will keep working to elect Republicans nationwide!! pic.twitter.com/laCe3jUcMY
— Harmeet K. Dhillon (@pnjaban) January 27, 2023
From the video above:
“Hi, I’m Harmeet Dhillon and we are wrapping up here at the winter meeting of the Republican National Committee. We finished counting on the race for chairman and unfortunately, our side did not prevail and I just want to thank all of thee hundreds of thousands of voters out there who took the time to write emails, make phone calls and support online and really let their voices be heard because I heard them loud and clear and so did many members of the Republican national committee. I’m honored by all of that support and I just want to let everybody know that this is not thee end of the process it is really just the beginning of this movement. We are going to make sure over the coming years that we continue to hold our leadership accountable at the Republican National Committee, continue to work together with the party wherever we can to make sure we are accountable to donors, to voters, to grassroots activists and to candidates that we’re doing our best for them and most efficiently. So again, thank you so much and I look forward to continuing to hear from all of you about your thoughts about where we take this next and I promise as long as I am a party leader to be accountable and always remember where I came from. Thank you.”
The GOP needs to listen to their voters!
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