“I’ve decided to support Harmeet Dhillon for RNC Chair. I’m tired of losing,” Bill Palatucci told The Post Friday.
Dhillon, a California attorney and chairwoman of the Republican National Lawyers Association, has emerged as the chief challenger to the current RNC chairwoman, Ronna Romney McDaniel.
Palatucci has been the Republican National Committeeman from New Jersey since 2010.
The RNC is scheduled to select the chair at its winter meeting at the Waldorf-Astoria in Dana Point, Ca., running Wednesday through Friday.
Former President Donald Trump, who has ties to both candidates as well as another wannabe for the post, My Pillow founder Mike Lindell, said earlier this week that he was remaining neutral in the leadership fight. Trump is running next year to win back the White House after losing to Democrat Joe Biden, the current president, in 2020.
Trump previously supported McDaniel but last fall retained Dhillon as his lawyer to represent him in dealing with subpoenas from the then-Democratic-controlled House’s committee investigating the January 6, 2021 attacks on the Capitol.
Palatucci, a lawyer and longtime fixture in Jersey and national GOP politics, served as general counsel to Christie’s presidential campaign in 2016, and as counsel to Trump’s Transition Committee.
“Today, I announced my support for Hameet Dhillon as RNC Chair via a conference call with the members of the New Jersey Republican State Committee. I came to my decision after several one-on-one conversations with Harmeet where I came away impressed with her recognition of the RNC’s role in so many failed campaigns last November,” Palatucci said in a statement.
“We are both tired of losing. And neither one of us is convinced by the argument that the RNC has no responsibility for those losses claiming that the RNC doesn’t pick candidates. The RNC needs to stand up against bigotry, racism, and intolerance. The Party of Lincoln needs to be unashamed to denounce hatred as unacceptable, with no place in our political discourse. I look forward to being in California next week and casting my vote for Harmeet Dhillion.”
Palatucci said Dhillon is gaining momentum.
Republicans were hopeful they would sweep both houses of Congress in last fall’s elections. But they failed to regain the majority of the Senate and barely won back the House of Representatives amid a year of record inflation under President Biden and Democratic rule.
Former Long Island Rep. Lee Zeldin, the New York Republican candidate for governor, considered a run for RNC chair but decided not to because he believed the fix was in for McDaniel’s re-election despite the disappointing mid-term election results.
“The issue is Chairwoman McDaniel’s re-election appears to already be pre-baked, as if the disappointing results of every election during her tenure … do not and should not even matter,” Zeldin said.