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Rik Mehta, US Senate candidate.
Republican U.S. Senate candidate Rik Mehta

Mehta raises $286k for Senate race against Booker

Political newcomer hires Chris Russell as campaign strategist

By David Wildstein, January 29 2020 9:37 am

Former U.S. Food and Drug Administration official Rik Mehta has raised $286,576 for his bid to capture the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate in New Jersey, where incumbent Cory Booker is seeking re-election.

Mehta, who entered the race on October 17, loaned $255,000 to his campaign and has $190,280 cash-on-hand.

His campaign is likely on the upward trend after signing one of the state’s top Republican political consultants.  Chris Russell joined his campaign about two weeks ago.

The Republican field appears wide open heading into the party organization convention season, with six candidates seeking the nomination.

Mehta faces businessman Hirsh Singh, former prosecutor Stuart Meissner, former Monmouth County freeholder Gary Rich, Tricia Flanagan and Natalie Rivera.

“I am the only candidate running for US Senate with the background, experience, and ideas to take on and defeat Cory Booker in November, and serve as a strong and reliable top of the ticket for our congressional, county, and local candidates on the ballot,” Mehta said.  “I am eager to begin the County Convention process tonight and over the next several weeks and am confident of a strong showing among our party’s grassroots leaders.”

Mehta was a vice president at Aquestive Therapeutics — he resigned at the end of last year to focus on his campaign — 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.

“Last night, President Trump talked about pursuing Ronald Reagan’s vision of a big-tent party,” said Mehta. “As a first-generation American who worked hard and earned everything I’ve got, I am confident that my candidacy is best positioned to make that vision a reality and take our conservative message into every community in New Jersey.”

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