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Gill could become youngest GOP congressman in century

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POSTED September 6, 2012 12:44 a.m.

If Ricky Gill gets elected in November he’ll be the youngest Republican congressman in nearly 100 years.

So, naturally, he wants everybody to come out and be a part of history.

The 25-year-old political upstart – a rising star in the party with an impressive list of credentials that include a stint on the California Board of Education, graduating Phi Beta Kappa from Princeton University and just recently earning his Juris Doctorate from UC Berkeley’s Boalt School of Law – is fresh off of his speaking engagement at the Republican National Convention.

And he gave those in attendance at Tuesday’s meeting of the South San Joaquin Republicans a little taste of what has been garnering him a plethora a media coverage in his pick ‘em race with three-term Congressman Jerry McNerney.

“We’re on the verge of taking a seat back in California,” Gill said to an eruption of applause. If you think of what that’ll do to Nancy Pelosi – that’ll cause her some anxiety.”

Thanks to the redrawing of district boundaries, McNerney’s area now encompasses the land that surrounds Manteca and extends north into Stockton and up into Lodi. That means that most Manteca residents won’t be able to vote for either candidate but all eligible voters in Lathrop could.

But that’s not going to stop Gill from doing everything in his power to represent the entire area.

 “My goal is to earn your trust and show you that not all of those in Congress are created equal. You might not be able to vote for me, but I can vote for you,” said Gill – adding that no Democrat has been unseated from California since 1994. “I think that we do have trouble with some Republican races here at the State level, so if we’re going to build it I believe we have to do it at the Congressional level, and that’s what we’re going to do.”

It’s his campaign, however, that has been gaining momentum.

A regular staple on radio broadcasts throughout the region, Gill is being recognized as a tremendous example of the future of something all but thought dead in California – a young, conservative GOP hopeful with a bright future.

With the NFL regular season just around the corner, it was only fitting that Gill – who worked in the front office for the Sacramento Kings – compare the highlights of his campaign and all of the attention that it’s getting to something else that most Northern California fans could relate to or at least understand.

“I think that people recognize this as the ‘West Coast Offense’ for the party,” Gill said – referencing the iconic system that San Francisco 49ers head coach Bill Walsh developed in the 1980s. “I think that if we send some of these people back, we’ll just end up getting more of the same and that’s what this campaign is all about. It’s time for a change.”

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