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Rik Mehta loses to Cory Booker in Senate race

New YorkCory Booker, the former mayor of New Jersey’s largest city and onetime Democratic Presidential candidate, scored a second US Senate term over a Republican who had raised scant campaign cash and downplayed the novel coronavirus.

With 51% of precincts reporting, Booker had 61% of the vote to 38% for Rik Mehta, a pharmaceutical entrepreneur and political newcomer, according to the Associated Press (AP). New Jersey hasn’t sent a Republican to the US Senate since 1972.

Booker, 51, was backed by a campaign fund and other accounts that as of November 1 had raised $14.5 million. Mehta, 42, had reported just $564,000, more than half of it a loan backed by the candidate, according to Federal Election Commission filings.

Booker won a special election in 2013 over Republican Bob Hugin to fill the seat of the late Frank Lautenberg, a fellow Democrat. Hugin, the former chairman and chief executive officer of Celgene Corp., had spent $36 million of his own fortune on that race.

In January, Booker ended his 2020 presidential campaign after failing to qualify for a candidates’ debate. A progressive champion of marijuana legalization and criminal reform, same-sex marriage, a $15 federal minimum wage, and stricter gun laws, Booker faced a challenger who showed unabashed support for Donald Trump in a state where the President is unpopular.

Mehta on Twitter said he and his wife attended a Trump fundraiser in Bedminster on October 1, less than 24 hours before the White House disclosed that the President was positive for the coronavirus. In response to Governor Phil Murphy’s suggestion that all attendees quarantine, Mehta said Murphy was fear mongering, and there was no need to do so. (Source: Hindustan Times)

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Asian American Republican Alliance launched in NJ with Senate candidate

Fords, NJ: The Asian American Republic Alliance (AARA) was formally launched  with an inaugural dinner on September 30 at Royal Albert Palace in New Jersey. It highlighted the candidacy of GOP candidate for US Senate from New Jersey, Rik Mehta, an Indian American.

Rik Mehta won the GOP primary on July 7. He is a biotech entrepreneur, innovator, and healthcare policy expert, as well as an attorney and pharmacist, according to his election website. He has an uphill task running against the well-entrenched Democratic incumbent, Senator Cory Booker.

Among the distinguished guests attending were  New Jersey State Senator Sam Thompson, MCRO Chair Lucille Panos, candidate for NJ’s 6th Congressional District, Christian Onuoha, Sayreville GOP Chair Arthur J. Rittenhouse Jr. and others.

The speakers included Rik Mehta, New Jersey GOP Chairman Doug Steinhardt, Middlesex County Chair Lucille Panos, Dr. Vishal Dhaduk who came in specially for the inaugural from Scranton PA, Padma Shri Dr. Sudhir Parikh and AARA Founder & Chairman Sridhar Chillara.

Mr Chillara emphasized the importance for Asian Americans to get more keenly involved in the political process. He asserted that the Republican  more closely aligns with the traditional conservative values of  Asian Americans. GOP, he pointed out, has actually been more receptive of Asian Americans – think of Indian Americans Nikki Haley and Bobby Jindal, who both rose to dizzying heights in party and positions of power.  Soliciting the community’s support for Rik Mehta’s candidacy, he spoke about how they can make a difference in a state like New Jersey, tilting it away from being a solid Blue state.

Doug Steinhardt assured his support to all Republican candidates up and down the ballot with special emphasis on the Congressional seats they hope to flip this year in the state

Ms Panos talked of how she was once a Democrat and has now walked away once she realized what the party really stood for.

Dr Dhaduk gave a rousing speech on how Democrats are encouraging the creation of a welfare state and tearing down traditional American values such as hard work and self-reliance.

AARA national directors Praveen Thadkamalla, Pavan Kuchana, Krishna Vemuri, Piyush Patel and Hari Eppanapally were also present.

Jesal Amin and Brajesh Singh, who are respectively running to be mayors in East Brunswick and Piscataway, made their campaign pitches.

AARA NJ State President Ravi Kolla spoke about supporting all Republican candidates. Vote of thanks was given by AARA NJ State Director Dharmesh Patel.

Contact: www.aarausa.org 

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For Senate seat from NJ, Rik Mehta no match for Cory Booker

The race for the US Senate seat in New Jersey is turning out to be a one-sided affair with incumbent Democratic Senator Cory Booker holding a double-digit lead over his Republican challenger Rik Mehta. 

Poll pundits have predicted there’s little likelihood of the charismatic former Newark mayor losing to Mehta, a political newcomer with an accomplished background including a law degree and a doctorate in pharmacy.

There are no Senate ads running on broadcast stations in Philadelphia or New York – markets that capture New Jersey – for or against either candidate, according to the Federal Communication Commission’s records. Nonpartisan political ratings organizations count New Jersey firmly in the Democrats’ column.

Booker is a well-recognized figure, whose failed run in the most recent Democratic presidential primary had him under the national spotlight for months. Mehta is new to the political game and is the founder of biopharmaceutical firms. He lives in traditionally Republican Morris County with his wife and three children, while Booker lives in the Democratic stronghold of Newark in Essex County, with his partner, actor Rosario Dawson.

Booker is unabashedly liberal; Mehta said in an interview he won’t distance himself from President Donald Trump, who isn’t popular in New Jersey.

“I would describe myself as pretty unapologetically Republican,” he said. He added that he’s “completely happy with the direction the president has taken this country, especially before the pandemic.”

keywords: rik mehta, cory booker, democratic senator, november election, donald trump

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American Hindu Coalition endorses Dr. Rik Mehta for US Senate

By The SATimes News Service

Washington, DC: The American Hindu Coalition has endorsed Dr. Rik Mehta for the US Senate from New Jersey State in the November 3ʳᵈ, 2020 elections.

“Dr. Rik Mehta is a true American, supports Hindu values and protecting religious freedoms for all, and a family man, who will take a firm stand to fix New Jersey and protect our “American Way of Life” for our children,” the coalition said in a press release. 

In making history, Dr. Mehta became the first American of Indian origin to win a major party’s nomination for a statewide race in New Jersey. 

Mehta believes in saving our small businesses; the backbone of our economy; that COVID-19 can and will be defeated; that the China Communist Party’s reign on American prosperity and military superiority will be stopped; that America is and always will be exceptional; that all women and men are created equal, endowed by their Creator with inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

The coalition said that they support Mehta’s views that in our constitutional system — limited government, separation of powers, federalism, and the rights of the people — must be preserved and not compromised for future generations.

“We are proud of Rik Mehta and the hope that he will bring to Washington,” it said in the press release. 

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Former Governor Chris Christie endorses US Senate candidate Rik Mehta

Republican US Senate seat candidate in New Jersey, Rik Mehta’s campaign received a significant boost in the form of an endorsement from former Gov. Chris Christie.

“Dr. Mehta will stand with President Trump to hold China accountable, reopen our country and always stand up for New Jersey in Washington, D.C.,” Christie said, according to a New Jersey Globe report.

Mehta, a former U.S. Food and Drug Administration official, has won the endorsement of 17 of 21 Republican county organizations, the report noted.

“I am proud to receive Governor Christie’s endorsement of my campaign for U.S. Senate. Chris knows first-hand how to win state-wide elections and it is an honor to have him on our team,” Mehta said in a statement. “I look forward to working with him and together with President Trump to reopen our country and bring manufacturing jobs back from China.”

Mehta, the frontrunner to take on Democrat Senator Cory Booker in 2020, recently launched his “Made in America” medicines campaign that will require companies to disclose the country of origin of their prescription drugs.

Mehta is a vice president at Aquestive Therapeutics and an adviser of Licentiam Inc., a firm focused on reducing regulation in the healthcare industry.

He previously served as Pfizer Consumer Health’s head of regulatory policy and was deputy director for the Division of Medical Policy Programs for the Food and Drug Administration’s Office of Medical Policy.

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International

Indian-American Senate candidate Rik Mehta launches medicines campaign

Washington, DC: Indian-American Rik Mehta, the frontrunner to take on Democrat New Jersey Senator Cory Booker this year, recently launched his “Made in America” medicines campaign that will require companies to disclose the country of origin of their prescription drugs, a media report said.

Americans have a right to know where their medicine comes from especially when nearly all other products are labelled with the country it was made in,” India-West news on Monday quoted Mehta, the Republican Senate candidate, as saying in a release.

“Americans have a right to know whether their medicine was ”Made in America” or ”Made in China” and should be labelled as such.”

Currently, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not require a drug’s label to include the country where the ingredients originated from to make the drug.

The Indian-American candidate pointed out that, currently, if the majority of the ingredients that go into making a drug come from China, but a secondary step was taken to mix or package the drug in another country, then the country where it was mixed or packaged (or in some cases the principal place of business), could be placed on the label even though China was the source of the ingredients.

“These bizarre and conflicting laws and regulations that govern how to label products with their country of origin has allowed companies to profit from foreign drug manufacturing while hiding their supply chain from the American people for too long,” said Mehta.

Mehta noted that Chinese manufacturing of American drugs have nearly doubled while many American-based manufacturing plants shuttered, moving the manufacturing of essential medicines, like antibiotics, to foreign countries, India-West quoted the release as saying.

“Under my ”Made in America” medicines plan, we will bring thousands of manufacturing jobs back to America, provide transparency in the medical supply chain, reduce the price of our prescription drugs and more importantly save lives,” he added.

Mehta is a biotech entrepreneur, innovator, healthcare policy expert and a licensed pharmacist and attorney. (IANS)

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International

Indian American launches ‘Made in America’ medicines campaign

Washington: Indian American Republican Senate Candidate Rikin ‘Rik’ Mehta has launched “Made in America” medicines campaign – a move that will require companies to disclose the country of origin of their prescription drugs, a media report said.

“Americans have a right to know where their medicine comes from especially when nearly all other products are labelled with the country it was made in,” Mehta was quoted as saying in the India-West news website.

Currently, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not require a drug’s label to include the country where the ingredients originated from to make the drug.

“These bizarre and conflicting laws and regulations that govern how to label products with their country of origin has allowed companies to profit from foreign drug manufacturing while hiding their supply chain from the American people for too long,” said Mehta, the frontrunner to take on Democrat New Jersey Senator Cory Booker this year.

Mehta noted that Chinese manufacturing of American drugs have nearly doubled while many American-based manufacturing plants shuttered.

“Under my ‘Made in America’ medicines plan, we will bring thousands of manufacturing jobs back to America, provide transparency in the medical supply chain, reduce the price of our prescription drugs and more importantly save lives,” he added.

Mehta started his career in New Jersey as a drug store pharmacist and later at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, before becoming an expert in drug law and regulatory policy. He is also an adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law Center where he commutes to Washington, D.C. to teach health law and global drug law and regulation.

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