Rik Mehta has become the first Indian-American to win the Republican primary for the Senate seat from the US state of New Jersey.He will face Democratic incumbent Senator Cory Booker in the November elections.
Rik is a pharmacist and a lawyer. He has worked for FDA in past and has been part of many privately held companies since. This was the first time he was running for a public office and on the GOP platform where he focused on legal immigrant’s issues, first and second amendment and individual liberty.
Rik was seen as a the old fashioned conservative pushing for equal treatment under law rather than the modern wave of race based politics. He faced tough competition from other two major GOP candidates.
Mehta, of Chester Township, largely self-financed his primary run, lending himself $315,000. He raised $78,640 in contributions, including $4,000 from state Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean Jr.‘s congressional committee, and had $48,214 in the bank as of June 17.
Tricia Flanagan and Hirsh Singh were two major candidates in the race. Hirsh ended second and Tricia was a distant third.
Tricia particularly positioned herself as an anti-immigrant candidate and more specifically attacked Indian immigrants and H1B holders.
Rik Mehta is a strong supporter of S386, a law that ends the loophole that allowed american immigration to discriminate against Indians and Chinese people bu putting a cap on how many green cards these countries can get despite their high skills.
Historically these sort of caps were added to keep Jewish people out of USA who were fleeing persecution all around the world and Germany just before WW2. Post-ww2 these caps were removed from Jewish population countries to asian countries like India and China.
Rik however faces an uphill battle as he takes on Cory Booker, a Democrat Senator.