Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate from New Jersey, Rikin Mehta, lost his race Nov. 3, 2020, to incumbent Democratic Sen. Cory Booker.
But Mehta made a good showing. Booker garnered 57.7 percent of the vote (2,103,434) whereas Mehta got 40.5 percent (1,470,912) of the total 3.6 million votes counted, according to results reported in the New York Times.
When asked how he feels about the result, Mehta told Desi Talk, “It is important that all legal votes be counted before a final declaration is made.”
As of Nov. 9, 2020, 83 percent of the vote total had been reported in the New York Times. The remaining 17 percent approximately, is composed of mail-in ballots and provisional ballots cast in person. Mail-in ballots can be received until November 10, and provisional ballots begin to be counted from Nov. 10, 2020. The Associated Press however, called the race for Booker.
“At the end of the day the most important thing we need to focus on (is) ending Covid, getting our small businesses and our economy back in shape,” Mehta added.
Mehta won the Republican primary back on July 7, 2020, beating out another Indian-American candidate, Hirsh Singh, and 3 other Republicans.
“I hope that Senator Booker in his second term is committed to the people of New Jersey,” Mehta told Desi Talk. “He has been a disappointment in his first term. He’s forsaken the people of New Jersey and I hope that he shows that he’s a serious politician and elected official to represent all of New Jersey and like I said before we need a Senator not a celebrity.”
Mehta’s election website describes him as a biotech entrepreneur, innovator, healthcare policy expert and a licensed pharmacist and attorney.
He credited the Indian American community with rallying behind him in his race.
“I’m a political newcomer. I’m not a career politician and so coming into this race without a political background. I think it is a testament to the Indian American community that rallied and supported me, and many immigrant communities that have shown that they would back me. I’m very happy about how we performed,” said Mehta.
Mehta is the co-founder and partner at Lactiga Inc., a biotechnology company that recently won an NIH award for research to develop a biologic to help COVID patients.
“I am very much focused in this area which is critical and will certainly remain active in the political atmosphere. New Jersey is a place to live not leave. I will absolutely run in the next election.”
Mehta currently resides in Chester, NJ with his wife and three children.