Rik Mehta is expected to drop his bid for the Republican Congressional nomination in New Jersey’s 7th District and run against House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-Long Branch) in a Middlesex district. Monmouth, the New Jersey Globe has learned.
Mehta, the Republican candidate for the US Senate against Cory Booker in 2020, scheduled an announcement Monday night in Edison. Keith Hahn, the GOP candidate for mayor of Edison, told the New Jersey Globe that he will support Mehta.
Monmouth County Commissioner Sue Kiley, who is expected to announce her challenge to Pallone next week.
Former Republican National Committee member Thomas Toomey dropped out of the 11th District House race against Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-Montclair) after the new Congressional card was announced and is now looking to face Pallone, who occupies the headquarters since 1988.
Mehta had announced his offer against Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-Ringoes) in February 2021.
A former head of the United States Food and Drug Administration, Mehta lost to Booker by 724,126 votes, 57% -41%.
The record-breaking turnout in the 2020 general election made Booker the tallest statewide voter for a position in New Jersey history. At the same time, Mehta received more votes than any other Republican candidate in history after breaking a record set by U.S. Senator Clifford P. Case in 1972.
He received 1,817,052 in his race against Booker, a total of votes that surpassed statewide Republican winners like former governors Chris Christie, Christine Todd Whitman and Thomas H. Kean.
Mehta is seeking to become the first South Asian American to win a seat in the New Jersey House of Representatives, in a district with the highest percentage of Asian American voters.
As a candidate for the US Senate, he won the organization’s ranks in Middlesex and Monmouth counties.