There are plenty of things that Ricky Gill wants to see happen for residents in the 9th Congressional District that includes Lathrop.
The 24-year-old lifelong San Joaquin County resident champions student-centered education reform, promoting jobs in the valley and fixing what he considers a failing healthcare system. He is making his case to voters to prove he has the best chances of defeating three-term congressman Jerry McNerney in the fall.
But most of all he wants to see representation of the district’s constituents by someone who actually lives among them.
“These people are severely underrepresented in Washington, D.C., and I want to change that when I get elected,” said Gill who just last week shored up the support of former Florida Governor Jeb Bush. “It’s something that I look forward to changing.”
While delivering his remarks at the annual candidates night at Chez Shari’s in Manteca conducted by the South San Joaquin Republicans last week, Gill joked that the Democrats were starting to fear the momentum that he was building and had begun sending operatives to videotape his campaign stops and public appearances to try and gain an edge. South San Joaquin President Frank Aquila barred any video recording at the start of the night to prevent that from happening.
With a strong fundraising base – South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, also an Indian-American, was recently out to help Gill raise money in his bid to secure the Republican nomination. With deep roots in the area, Gill appears to have an edge over Republican challenger and Mountain House resident John McDonald, who was also present at Tuesday’s event.
Gill is currently a student at Boalt Hall, the law school at the University of California, Berkeley. He has an impressive resume that includes graduating Phi Beta Kappa from Princeton University and worked in the front office for both the Sacramento Kings and the Oakland Athletics. He served as the student representative to the California Board of Education – a post he was asked to man by then-Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Lodi resident and retired U.S. Marshal Tony Amador, who challenged McNerney in 2010, has expressed interest in making another go at the seat.
With the newly redrawn district taking out the portion of the East Bay Area that included McNerney’s home, he’ll be moving to a residence in Stockton in order to be eligible for the seat.
“I think that it’s fundamentally important that we win this race – we should have won it last time,” Gill said. “There’s a possibility to aspire – to push through – and to take something away from the other side this time around.”