Indian-American Republican candidate Rik Mehta lost his New Jersey Senate election bid to Democratic incumbent Senator Cory Booker. Mehta garnered 37.9 per cent of the votes at 1,071,726, while Booker got 60.6 per cent with 1,714,375 votes in the November 3 election. In July, Mehta had become the first Indian-American to win the Republican primary for the Senate seat from the US state of New Jersey. Mehta, a former US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) official, had defeated his nearest rival Hirsh Singh, also an Indian-American, by a margin of approximately 13,743 votes in the Republican primaries held in July.
Mehta is a biotech entrepreneur, innovator, healthcare policy expert and a licensed pharmacist and attorney. As a small business owner and a first generation American, he’s a staunch advocate for defending our Constitutional rights, fighting against illegal immigration and Sanctuary Cities, an affordable, accessible healthcare system that’s built for generations to come, and building New Jersey’s economy for the future, his profile said. This was for the first time that a New Jersey senatorial race had candidates of colour nominees from both the parties. Booker, an African-American, had won the Democratic primary with 89 per cent of the votes. New Jersey, which has one of the highest concentrations of Indian-Americans, is considered to be a Democratic party bastion as it has been 48 years now that the state has elected a Republican as a Senator.