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NEWARK-Perhaps newly elected New Jersey State Senator Michael Testa said it best.
“You can’t beat vanilla with french vanilla,” Testa said when describing the dismal performance by New Jersey Republicans in important elections over the past few years. Testa was referring to the New Jersey Republican Party endorsing borderline Democrats masquerading as Republicans in those elections. The outcome is always the same, Democrats in New Jersey are not going to vote for a Republican just because he says he’s kinda, sorta just like them.
That’s what Rikin Mehta brings to the table, more of the same, except in his case, until a couple of years ago, Mehta was a full-blown Democrat. He worked for President Obama and even voted in the 2008 Presidential Democrat primary election between Obama and Hillary Clinton.
Today, Mehta is reinventing himself as a conservative Republican, ready to take on Cory Booker. Establishment Republicans appear to be aligning behind Mehta and another former Democrat, Stuart Meissner. Like Mehta, Meissner was a Democrat insider until recently.
Chris Roslan, President of Rosland & Campion Public Relations, who represents Mehta’s political campaign confirmed that Mehta is a newly minted Republican, but despite working for President Obama, said, “He is in fact very conservative. He’s not an Obama-ite.”
There are three other candidates running against Booker. Republican Hirsh Singh, who was never a Democrat is an engineer out of Atlantic City and has been gaining a lot of attention statewide appears to be the conservative Republican favorite.
Two women are also running, Tricia Flanagan and Natalie Rivera. Both ran very unsuccessful spoiler campaigns against Republicans in 2018 in the “Battle of the Bobs” between Bob Menendez and Bob Hugin. Both came out with less than 1% of the vote on election day. Rivera ran as a “For the People Party” candidate and Flanagan ran under the “New Day NJ Party” in that election.