“I can win this race, but it’s going to take GOP unity and a collective effort by all Republicans,” Congressional candidate Rik Mehta wrote to members of the 6th Congressional district this week, in asking for their support in the Feb. 12th GOP convention that determines who gets the party line in the November election.
“As a County Committee member, it is within your power to nominate and endorse someone who can beat Frank Pallone, not someone who might come close,” he continued. He cited statistics that showed incumbent Democrat Governor Phil Muphy only won his hometown district by three points last year, and Mehta feels strongly he can “finish the job.”
The candidate noted that in spite of his own energy and desire to win, he cannot do it alone and called on Republicans to vote for him so he can lead the challenge to “beat Rep. Pallone and save America.”
Mehta, who ran last year in an attempt to oust incumbent Democrat Senator Cory Booker, is a biotech entrepreneur, innovator, healthcare law and policy expert and a licensed pharmacist and attorney. Trained at Rutgers University as both a pharmacist and lawyer, he has also studied and earned degrees from the University of Arkansas, and Georgetown Law and the Graduate Institute for International and Development Studies in Geneva., Switzerland.
Mehta is the son of immigrant parents whose father immigrated from India 52 years ago with $100 in his pocket. His mother worked two jobs and managed the household. In addition to earning his two doctoral degrees in separate professions, Mehta made history as the first American of Indian origin to win the nomination of any major political party for a statewide race; he was the first person of color to win the GOP nomination for U.S. Senate in New Jersey.
In his profession, Mehta worked at the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), under the Bush Administration fighting to reduce drug prices, crack down on illegal, counterfeit drugs and work to remove dangerous unapproved opioids from the streets.
After leaving public service, he joined the private sector in the pharmaceutical industry at the intersection of regulation and medical innovation. Currently, he is on the Board of two companies he co-founded, Lactiga Therapeutics, an award winning, venture-backed biotherapeutics company with a focus on improving the quality of life in patients with primary immunodeficiency diseases, and Licentiam, Inc, one of the nation’s top medical licensing service firms.
Mehta also serves as principal of his own consulting firm where he develops novel strategies for select companies facing complex regulatory challenges. He also teaches Health Law and Regulation and Global Drug Law as an adjunct professor of law at Georgetown University Law Center.
He is married and he and his wife Reema have three sons, and live in Middlesex.
The Republican convention for Monmouth County committee members will be Feb. 12 in Freehold. Each committee member votes on who will be on the line as the GOP candidate.