Rejani Raveendran, a 40-year-old India-born college student has launched a long-shot bid for US Senate from Wisconsin, becoming the first Republican to challenge Democratic Senator Tammy Baldwin.
Raveendran, chair of the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point College Republicans, officially launched her run against 61-year-old Baldwin in Portage County on Tuesday with just under a year to go until the primary, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.
â€œI 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,â€ she said announcing her candidacy.
My fellow Americans, my Name is Rejani Raveendran and I am running to be your next Wisconsin U.S. Senator! Below is my Bio and Platform feel free to reach out with any questions.
— Rejani Raveendran (@RejaniforSenate) August 9, 2023
A single mother with three children, Raveendran has not been involved in politics until recently. She joined the Stevens Point College Republicans this year, and only decided to run for Senate after her trip to Washington earlier this summer.
She plans to graduate with a bachelorâ€™s degree in political science and a certificate in international relations next year.
â€œI see whatâ€™s going on in our country,â€ Raveendran, who immigrated to the US in 2011 from India, where she was a nurse and midwife, told the Journal Sentinel in an interview last week
â€œI realized how much DC is (dominated) by these polished politicians. I realized there is a need for a change in our political system. We need some new faces with new ideas,â€ she said.
â€œI am not a politician, and I do not want to be a politician,â€ said Raveendran,â€œIâ€™m a regular person who knows the situations in regular peopleâ€™s lives.â€
Raveendran said her campaign will focus on securing the border and cracking down on illicit drugs like fentanyl, stopping illegal immigration and advocating for â€œmedical freedom,â€ suggesting she is opposed to vaccine mandates.
In a flyer detailing her candidacy, Raveendran said that she decided to run because she felt the political system needed â€œnew people with new ideasâ€ and to â€œbring the perspective of regular people and regular moms to Washington.â€
If elected she will push for eliminating illegal immigration, â€œfight against the woke agenda and preserve the innocence of our children,â€ end the war in Ukraine and push for congressional term limits, the flyer said.
Raveendran, who lived in California before moving to Wisconsin in 2017 became a US citizen in 2015. she has said that she supported former President Donald Trump in 2016 and 2020 and is supporting him again in 2024.
Republican US Representative Tom Tiffany last week announced he will not run against Baldwin, and Mike Gallagher, Republicansâ€™ top choice candidate, has also declined to run.
Other Republicans considering getting in the race include Madison businessman and 2012 Senate candidate Eric Hovde, Franklin businessman Scott Mayer and former Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke.