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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Ricky Gill: Unconventional Republican

National Journal reports:

Ranjit (Ricky) Gill may be this year’s most unconventional Republican candidate for Congress.

Born and raised in Lodi, Calif., near Stockton, he is challenging three-term Democratic Rep. Jerry McNerney in the state’s highly agricultural 11th District, where the unemployment rate is about double the national average. Gill’s mother is from India; his father grew up in Uganda, but fled Idi Amin’s regime and earned his medical degree in Ireland. Both obstetricians, their medical practice has delivered close to 75,000 babies (a political gold mine) by Gill’s count. And they have somehow still found time to grow 1,000 acres of wine grapes.

An Indian-American, Gill may be the perfect GOP candidate for a district where non-whites are now 50 percent of all residents and Vietnamese and Filipino-Americans are numerous. He has an easy-to-pronounce name—his family chose to call him “Ricky” instead of “Randy” to avoid comparisons to pro wrestler “Macho Man” Randy Savage—not to mention moderate stances on social issues such as immigration. To top it off, he is a fundraising dynamo: he took in $420,000 in his first quarter of raising money, the third-best total among non-incumbent Republicans running for the House.

Last week, the Stockton Record reported:

Rep. Jerry McNerney announced Thursday he is running to represent Stockton for a fourth term.

The Pleasanton Democrat also announced he planned to relocate to San Joaquin County to live in a new congressional district that would hold all of Stockton, the northern half of San Joaquin County and a portion of eastern Contra Costa County.

Compared to the current boundaries, the new district outline is vastly different. However, both districts have the bulk of their voters in San Joaquin County.

It's a place McNerney said he's gotten to know well over the years, enough so to consider it home, he said. "I've worked hard in San Joaquin County," he said. "I think it's a good match."