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India-born college student Rejani Raveendran has announced her senate candidacy for the US state of Wisconsin, becoming the first Republican to officially get in the race against Democratic Senator Tammy Baldwin.
Raveendran, chair of the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point College Republicans, launched her run against Baldwin on Tuesday in Portage County with just under a year to go until the primary, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.
A mother of three, Raveendran has never run for office in the state, and had only decided to run for Senate after her trip to Washington earlier this summer.
“I see what’s going on in our country. I realised how much D.C. 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.who has never run for office in the state,” Raveendran, who recently visited Washington, told The Sentinel.
She joined the Stevens Point College Republicans this year and plans to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in political science and a certificate in international relations next year.
“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 became a US citizen in 2015 and lived in California before moving to Wisconsin in 2017.
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”, implying that she is opposed to vaccine mandates.
She raised concerns over purported adverse reactions to the coronavirus vaccine and said she also “will be fighting against the woke agenda to preserve the innocence of our children”.
Raveendran told the Sentinel that she supported former President Donald Trump in 2016 and 2020 and is supporting him again in 2024.
As Baldwin seeks a third term in a presidential election year, other Republicans considering a run include Madison businessman and 2012 Senate candidate Eric Hovde, Franklin businessman Scott Mayer and former Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke.