“It was my first speech in front of a teleprompter,” Ricky Gill said of his appearance during Tuesday’s opening session of the Republican National Convention in Tampa. “The biggest difficulty is to keep pace with it.”
Gill had no trouble during his two minutes.
“My name is Ricky Gill, and I am humbled to stand before you as a Republican nominee for Congress, and a proud son of California’s San Joaquin Valley.”
Gill is just old enough to serve in Congress. He is 25.
He is also considered a rising star in a California Republican Party desperately in need of one. The political website RealClearPolitics rates his race against 60-year-old Democratic Congressman Jerry McNerney a “toss up.”
That’s in part because the redrawn 9th Congressional District is less Democratic now (44% Democrat; 37% Republican). Gill also has an interesting resume — both his parents were born in India; Gill was born and raised in Lodi.
The Indian-American community closely follows his campaign. The India-West website headline today was: “Rebuild the American Dream, Exhorts Gill at RNC.”
Gill's family has long run a vineyard in the Central Valley. That’s helped him raise upwards of $1.5 million – more than McNerney. He is also good looking and a comfortable speaker, as he showed on the expansive stage at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.
Afterwards, Gill said he didn’t go out and buy a new suit or change his style for the speech. “I felt very comfortable.”
He attributed that in part to his days calling Sacramento Kings radio – as a 10-year-old kid. “I felt a great deal of composure. It went off without a hiccup.”