Speaking with Harmeet K. Dhillon, Vice Chair of California Republicans

Harmeet Dhillon is the first woman to be elected as Vice Chairman of the California Republican Party.

WASHINGTON, April 16, 2013 ― Harmeet K. Dhillon is a name you will come to know. Recently, Harmeet made history by becoming the first woman ever elected to the position of Vice Chairman of the California Republican Party. Born in India, Dhillon and family arrived in the United States when she was two years old.

From the Bronx, New York to rural North Carolina, where her father worked as an orthopedic surgeon, her family adopted and lived by traditional, conservative values.

According to Dhillon, who is herself an accomplished business litigation attorney, she and her family are Sikhs. Her Dad and brother, she says, wear turbans.

The conservative values she and her family live by provide them with the structure through which to practice their religion.

Dhillon attended Dartmouth College, where she earned a Bachelor-of-Arts Degree in Classical Studies (ancient Greek, Latin, and classical art and archaeology), and the University of Virginia, where she received her law degree and sat on the editorial board of the Virginia Law Review. She served a one-year clerkship with a United States Court of Appeals judge in the Fourth Circuit after graduation.

From 1996 to the present, Dhillon has been widely published. Practicing law in New York, London, Silicon Valley, San Francisco, she is a talented speaker and litigator.

Currently, Harmeet K. Dhillon is second most powerful Republican in the State of California party leadership.

WTC: Harmeet, thank you so much for agreeing to this interview for the Washington Times Communities.

Harmeet K. Dhillon: No, thank you. I appreciate the opportunity.

WTC: So, what attracted you to the Republican Party?

Harmeet K. Dhillon: I have been a Republican ever since I could vote. I was raised in a family where my parents were conservative and we discussed politics at home, particularly issues of unfair regulation, excessive taxation, and greedy trial lawyers.

WTC: What type of family were you raised in, and how has your upbringing shaped your political views?

Harmeet K. Dhillon: My father was a country doctor, an orthopedic surgeon in rural North Carolina, and my mother a housewife at first and then business manager for my father’s medical practice. We are practicing Sikhs, with conservative social values. My parents emigrated from India in order to have a better life and opportunities. India was a socialist country when they left, closely allied with the Soviet Union.

WTC: What made you decide to run for vice chairman?

Harmeet K. Dhillon: I felt there was a need for new leadership in the California Republican Party. We need a new vision of how to appeal to younger voters in various demographics. This is a critical juncture in California’s history and every citizen needs to do his or her part to change things. I felt that I could help make a difference, and so I volunteered and ran.

WTC: What are your goals for the Republican Party as the Vice-Chair?

Harmeet K. Dhillon: I want to increase voter registration by the year 2014 so that more registered Republicans are in San Francisco as well as the rest of California, and to recruit and train people throughout the state; but especially those people living in rural areas who want to represent and work for the Republican Party. We also need to do a better job of turning out decline to state (“independent”) voters and moderate Democrats by running better candidates with broader appeal.

WTC: Would you ever consider running for office on a national level?

Harmeet K. Dhillon: It’s too soon after being elected to the vice chairman position in California to consider running for office at any level. My term as GOP vice chairman is for two years and my priority will be growing the California Republican Party.

WTC: Do you have any hobbies?

Harmeet K. Dhillon: I am an avid knitter and knitwear designer, with my own California yarn and knitwear company, Sea Ranch Woolworks. I love to read and enjoy cooking and world adventure travel.

WTC: Who is your favorite music artist?

Harmeet K. Dhillon: That is a tough one, but my favorites include Steely Dan, the Doors, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and Satinder Sartaj.

WTC: Thank you for your time to visit with us this morning. It was a pleasure speaking with you.

Harmeet K. Dhillon: The pleasure was mine.

Interview conducted by Richard Ivory and Cleo Brown.