Ricky Gill: The Young (but not Green) Guy from Lodi

Ricky Gill on KOVR-CBS13 Sacramento from Ricky Gill on Vimeo.

Lodi-born San Joaquin County native Ranjit “Ricky” Gill recently announced that he’s running for Congress in central California, in what is currently the state’s 11th district (it seems that district boundaries may change after August 15 when a citizens redistricting commission approves final maps). Sepia Mutiny noted Gill with a hint of envy and admiration back when he was invited at the age of 17 to the Republican state convention. At that time he served as the sole student representative on the State Board of Education, selected by the former Governator himself. Since then, Gill has gone on to graduate from high school and college, and now at 24, he’s a law student with political aspirations at UC Berkeley’s Boalt Hall who will be old enough to serve in Congress by the time of June 2012 primary elections.

Ricky Gill suggests that his board experience means he’s no rookie, despite his age.

“My constituency was every single K-12 public school student — 10 times the size of this congressional district,” he said. “I was proud to serve in that role appointed by the governor.” (The Daily Cal)

In addition to education, his issues include health care and farmer’s rights. A focus on these issues may reflect his experience in politics so far, his parents’ professional background as doctors and the importance of agriculture to the region’s economy. Local news coverage of his announcement described him as a “first generation American.” The 11th district’s incumbent, Rep. Jerry McNerney (D-Pleasanton), won the last election by a thin margin.

14 thoughts on “Ricky Gill: The Young (but not Green) Guy from Lodi

  1. I am SICK, SICK of Punjabis defecting to the Republican side. This is the third one. The Republicans were meant to die out with the last generation.

    Stop it.Gah. Ricky, Nicky and whats-his-name.

    • ithunk: I am SICK, SICK of Punjabis defecting to the Republican side. This is the third one. The Republicans were meant to die out with the last generation. Stop it.Gah. Ricky, Nicky and whats-his-name.

      First, I’d like to thank you for this very funny retort. Now, let me rebute: The psyche of the California voters is that Republican is the party of Reagan, Nixon (pro-Earth Day, pro-peace in his Vietnam pullout, price controls on certain commodities, OSHA worker’s standards, etc.), and the Country Club Constituents. This is still in their memory, and there hasn’t been a South Carolina imprinting on their minds.

      Moreover, I guarantee that Gill is from a Jatt-Sikh farming family. I know many out there, and they’re pro-Republicans because the associate Democrats as being blessers of slackers. Because the Jatt Sikh farming community of Fresno and Central California work HARD, they are single-agenda voters who are AGAINST government handouts to people who don’t work as hard as they do. Now, these same people also take advantage of government services, like public education, health care, worker’s standards, immigration, etc. But the Republicans are winning the mindshare due to effective marketing.

  2. I have no problem with Indian-Americans running as Republicans, but I think Gill will run into a lesser degree of the Bobby Jindal problem: he comes across as an over-educated know-it-all with little “real world” experience. His autobiographical timeline includes “Graduates from Mokelumne River School as the 8th grade valedictorian.” He’s never had a wage-paying job for more than a summer, and he wants to be a Congressman? I know it’s hard to get a job as a lawyer right now, but I don’t think the Lodi voters want to be filling that gap for him, especially if they have above-the-national-average levels of unemployment themselves.

    Also, glancing at the “issues” section of his campaign website, he seems allergic to taking a stand. He has a long spiel on health care, but doesn’t say what he thinks about the Affordable Care Act that passed last year (though he says there should be a ban on “discrimination on the basis of pre-existing medical conditions,” which logically necessitates an insurance mandate), or about the Ryan plan for Medicare vouchers that just passed the Republican House.

    Unless the Republican bench in his district is very small indeed, I doubt he has a chance at winning the primary.

    • Agreed. Gill has no chance as Congressmen in California. He should stick to going to graduate school, working an internship at Google, and womanizing just a bit more. He’s the west coast version of Ashwin Madia (but with no military experience and republican).

  3. I am SICK, SICK of Punjabis defecting to the Republican side. This is the third one.

    I know right? So tired of these damned colored folks comin’ to our country and thinking they can exercise their political freedom by choosing the party that best represents their own socioeconomic interests…when will they learn? sigh

  4. @boston_mahesh

    “Because the Jatt Sikh farming community of Fresno and Central California work HARD, they are single-agenda voters who are AGAINST government handouts to people who don’t work as hard as they do”

    lol. I doubt that is the reason. Sikhs are not opposed to social/community support (free langar anyone) I’m more interested in figuring out what makes them stand for govt, switch religions, assimilate with America so easily, etc. Culturally, they’ve always picked easier nicknames like Bunty, Nicky, Happy, etc, so thats not new.

    Also, given the issues that the Sikh community faces (turban-related racism), shouldn’t they be more liberal-leaning themselves ? (not saying that Republicans are behind the turban related attacks, but it is hard to see a liberal be so ignorant )

  5. The allergy to taking to taking a stand might have something to do with the fact that the congressional district represents probably the only true “swing” CD in California, one that is fairly evenly divided among Dems and Reps. Most other CDs in CA are gerrymandered so that either a Dem or Rep wins overwhelming, so the person who represents those other CDs can take stronger hard right or left positions. That’s a little harder to do in a district like this.

  6. I am always amazed and deeply saddened by ANY PERSON of color who claims to be a Republican.

  7. That’s crazy. Desis can hold a wide range of political views. Why are you so illiberal? Raped by Pashtuns?

  8. ithunk, you’re funny. If anything, the turbanophobia would probably lead many younger punjabis to run in the republican direction just to prove how down they are (no Jay Sean) with local politics. It’s a common phenomenon with brown immigrants (Cubans, Mexicans, Persians, Lebanese, desis, etc.), but per RealDesi, no political alignment is fully off-limits.

    But I do agree with you and American Brown. No honor attaches itself to aligning with a group that turns two blind eyes to glaring, endogamous racism and xenophobia; at least for the children of immigrants. But it’s their right to sell out, so whatever. (That’s also why I’m totally against putting Brown faces in office simply because they’re Brown.)

    Per this candidate, PG is spot on. This Gill sounds like a typical, play-it-safe, dull as dishwater social climber. He needs to say or do something ridiculous to get noticed in CA. Maybe get busted with an underage, undocumented, transexual prostitute?

  9. “Because the Jatt Sikh farming community of Fresno and Central California work HARD, they are single-agenda voters who are AGAINST government handouts to people who don’t work as hard as they do”

    This observation is not true, as most farmers take advantage of social services & collect social security benefits on their elderly. It also goes against their belief of communal living & sharing.

    Typically, Jatt Sikh farmers align themselves with a party that economically beneficial to them. In Punjab, they mostly vote for Akali party, but switch to Congress party if it favor their cause. Most farmers are not into ideological political agendas such as abortion, gay rights etc. They also view politics as a way to power, fame & prestige than changing the world. Educated Punjabis are mostly Democrats like rest of immigrants.

    Ricky Gill does come across “whatever suites to get on a hill” politician.

  10. Social climbing is the right description. It’s beaten into our heads to be the best – win the science fair, become a doctor, have perfect children, etc. Some take it so far, in fact, as to become Republicans because it’s an easier transition to being the best, or in other words, being elected to a public office when the incumbent is a Democrat or if you live in some backwards place like Louisiana. This guy sucks so much ass I can’t even begin to figure out why he’s the way he is.

    The Central Valley of CA is full of old-time bigots who probably were openly racist to him and his family AND who were probably all Republicans. But for some reason, this dude defects! Why?!?!?!?!

    OK, I get that a lot of our parents were Republicans for tax reasons, but seriously, how many US born and raised desis do you know who are legitimately Repubs? Like 5, 6? This is because of the bigotry and racism 99% of us experienced as children turned us away from that whole group of people for life. Sometimes you’ll meet some desi-american republicans (normally born in early 70′s who came of age in the 80′s when it was considered cool to be a repub), and they tell you that they’re a republican. I feel that it’s ok to either laugh in their face or treat them as if they have killed their own grandmothers. It’s fair treatment considering their betrayal to us.

    For instance, I went to a taping of the Bill Maher show once and the only other brown guy in the audience was this weak looking dude who looked like a disheveled professor in his blazer and wrinkled khakis. After the taping in the parking lot, his white buddy started bashing liburalz and Bill Maher. Dude, was nodding along until he saw me. I didn’t even have to say anything. I just looked at him. He stopped nodding along to his buddy, and his eyes locked on mine. I shook my head, ever so imperceptibly, and HE KNEW WHAT I MEANT! He knew he was in the wrong and he got caught.

    There are 2 remedies for this problem. 1. STOP TRYING TO BE WHAT YOU’RE NOT! So many desis have so much pressure to be a doctor or a Success in life that we forget to be ourselves. I have one cousin in Mississippi and who is probably a Republican who mispronounces his own name to fit in with people. STOP IT! JUST MOVE SOMEWHERE ELSE AND BE YOURSELF! 2. DESI PARENTS NEED TO STOP MOVING TO BUMFUCK PLACES WHERE THEIR KIDS BECOME REPUBLICANS How many of you know Asian, black or other people of color and came to realize that none of these people grew up in Redneckville, Alabama? Their parents were smart and moved to cities where they weren’t the only non-whites. How many desis do you know who grew up in Indiana or South Carolina or Nebraska? TONS! And do their parents know what damage they do to these poor kids? My cousin stupidly moved to a small town in Georgia because he could be the only hematologist or something in that town. Great for him until his kids are so confused that they become Republicans. So much unnecessary trauma.