Republican Rejani Raveendran to challenge Democrat Tammy Baldwin for Senate in 2024


Washington: Rejani Raveendran, a 40-year-old India-born college student has announced her bid for Senate in the US state of Wisconsin, becoming the first Republican to officially contest against Democratic Senator Tammy Baldwin.

Raveendran, chair of the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point College Republicans, on Tuesday officially launched her run against 61-year-old Baldwin in Portage County.

The announcement made Raveendran the first Republican Senate candidate in Wisconsin with just under a year to go until the primary, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.

“I have met lots of politicians, lobbyists, and policymakers. Many of them were there for 20, 30 and 40 years. We elect them, send them and they become so comfortable in DC and forget all about us, why we (have) sent them there,” she said on Tuesday while announcing her candidacy.

Raveendran’s longshot entry would indeed add a new face to the race.

The mother of three has not been involved in politics until recently. She joined the Stevens Point College Republicans this year, she said, and only decided to run for Senate after her trip to Washington earlier this summer. She plans to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in political science next year.

During her interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel last week, she said “I see what’s going on in our country,” noting she recently visited Washington.

“I realised how much DC is (dominated) by these polished politicians. I realised there is a need for a change in our political system. We need some new faces with new ideas,” she said.

“I am not a politician, and I do not want to be a politician,” said Raveendran, who immigrated to the US in 2011 from India, where she was a nurse and midwife. She lived in California before moving to Wisconsin in 2017.

“I’m a regular person who knows the situations in regular people’s lives,” she added.

Raveendran became a US citizen in 2015. That means she will have been a citizen for 9 years in 2024 — the minimum number of years needed to be a Senator, media reports said.

Raveendran said her campaign will focus on securing the border and cracking down on illicit drugs like fentanyl, stopping illegal immigration and advocating for “medical freedom,” suggesting she is opposed to vaccine mandates.

Republican US Representative Tom Tiffany last week announced he will not run against Baldwin, and Gallagher, Republicans’ top choice candidate, has also declined to run.

Raveendran has said that she supported former President Donald Trump in 2016 and 2020 and is supporting him again in 2024.

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