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EXCLUSIVE: IL GOP Chair Don Tracy Goes on Radio, Talks Party Unity Then Slams Harmeet Dhillon, and Dhillon Responds



By Illinois Review

Illinois Republican Party chairman Don Tracy, during a Tuesday segment with Bishop on Air, falsely accused Harmeet Dhillon of running a negative campaign against Ronna Romney-McDaniel for RNC chair, saying,

“But now I hope we can unify, the other thing about Ronna is she ran a very uh, non-negative campaign, where Harmeet’s campaign was pretty negative, and I think kind of violated the 11th Commandment at times…’thou shalt not speak ill against thy fellow Republican.’ And Ronna chose not to go negative…and she’d be in a better position to unify the party if she didn’t go negative, and she didn’t.”

IL GOP chair Don Tracy on Bishop on Air on WMAY radio on Jan. 31, 2023.

But Tracy, who is talking about the importance of party unity, goes live on air, and attacks Dhillon – breaking the very commandment he just recited.

During Dhillon’s campaign for RNC chair, she was targeted by many RNC members and supporters of Romney-McDaniel, some even threatened her.

In one tweet, Dhillon said,

“Threats incoming today. One of Ronna’s state chair supporters responded to my message about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy by threatening me with consquences if I didn’t make the ‘annoying’ text messages from voters stop (no one on my team has asked anyone to text members)”

In another tweet, Dhillon writes,

“Another person on my team got a threatening call from a $$$ RNC consultant for raising questions about RNC’s highest-paid vendors. Message delivered was that my supporter would never work on a certain presidential campaign or for RNC if they didn’t shut up.”

And in another tweet, Dhillon writes,

“To be very clear, no amount of threats to me or my team, or bigoted attacks on my faith traceable directly to associates of the chair, will deter me from advancing positive change at the RNC, which includes new standards of accountability, transparency, integrity, and decency.”

During last Saturday’s weekly Chairman’s Memo, Tracy explained why he voted for Romney-McDaniel, writing,

“I call Ronna an infrastructure leader because that is what the RNC is, a political infrastructure support system. By next week, I will have served as Illinois State Chairman for two years. During that time, I have had an inside view of the great work Ronna has done on national Republican infrastructure and how much it has improved under her watch.”

Tracy then concluded,

“The bottom line is that Ronna McDaniel has done an excellent job in every element of what an RNC Chairman is supposed to do in an environment that has been uniquely challenging. She’s a proven grass-roots leader with a solid plan for the next two years.”

In an exclusive interview with Illinois Review, Dhillon had a direct message for Tracy.

“To Mr. Tracy, I would say this: If the rest of the party is seeking unity, he should do the same.”

Dhillon then went on to address Tracy’s accusations, saying,

“I don’t want to rehash the election, but as a general matter, when you run against an incumbent, you point out their record. That is what we did, and we tried our best to be fair and accurate. I ran an insurgent campaign against the entire edifice of the RNC. It was a David versus Goliath battle. To say that one side or the other was running a negative campaign is false and necessarily is stirring the pot. I’ve been asked to join in the calls for unity within the party, and I am doing just that.”

Alongside Tracy, Illinois national committeemen Richard Porter and Demtra DeMonte also voted for Romney-McDaniel.

Romney-McDaniel was re-elected to an unprecedented fourth term as RNC chair, defeating Dhillon in a secret ballot vote 111-51.


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  1. There’s been conflicting information concerning how IL National Committeewoman Demetra Demonte voted last week. Some are saying she voted Dhillon, others say McDaniel, and while it’s Demonte’s job to inform people whom she supported on the secret ballot, this tweet with the tote board from a Dhillon assistant of McDaniel supporters does not find Demonte on any list backing McDaniel:


    No matter, it’s done, and now there is more bad news for Republicans in 2024. Cook Political Report with Amy Walter released its initial 2024 U.S. House ratings for next year, and apart from IL-17, ALL 16 other House districts in Illinois are rated Strong/Safe Democrat (IL-12, IL-15 & IL-16 are rated Strong/Safe Republican).

    Freshman Congressman Eric Sorensen will begin his reelection campaign in a “Leans Democrat” rated IL-17.

    So no matter whom Republicans nominate for POTUS, and given the initial ratings, Illinois will not be a battleground next year for control of the White House or the U.S. House.

    Expectations are very low on February 2, 2023 for November of 2024, so what will leaders do about it?