MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A longshot candidate for U.S. Senate in Wisconsin who has never run for office in the state before plans to launch her candidacy Tuesday, becoming the first Republican to officially get in the race against Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin.
Rejani Raveendran, a 40-year-old college student and chair of the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point College Republicans, planned to announce her candidacy for the 2024 election at an evening event in Stevens Point, according to her campaign.
Several other higher-profile Republicans have decided against taking on Baldwin as she seeks a third term in a presidential election year. U.S. Reps. Mike Gallagher and Tom Tiffany have both opted against a 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.
Raveendran declined to comment ahead of the campaign launch event to The Associated Press. She told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in an interview published Tuesday that she decided to run because she felt the political system needed “new faces with new ideas.”
Raveendran joined the Stevens Point College Republicans this year and only decided to run for Senate after her trip to Washington earlier this summer, she told the Journal Sentinel. She plans to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in political science next year.
She immigrated to the United States in 2011 from India where she was a nurse and midwife. She became a U.S. citizen in 2015 and lived in California before moving to Wisconsin in 2017.
Raveendran told the Journal Sentinel that she supported former President Donald Trump in 2016 and 2020 and is supporting him again in 2024.