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And Then There Were Three: New Jersey Republican and ‘Perennial Candidate’ Hirsh Singh Announces Presidential Run

And Then There Were Three: New Jersey Republican and ‘Perennial Candidate’ Hirsh Singh Announces Presidential Run

  • The Indian American who has never won an election has previously run for governor, U.S. Senate, U.S. Congress, and a local board seat.

What do you do if you fail in your bid for governor, the U.S. Senate, U.S. Congress, and a local board? You run for president. That’s what New Jersey Republican Hirsh Vardhan Singh is doing. On July 27, the Indian American engineer threw his hat into an already crowded GOP field for president. Singh ran for governor in 2017, the U.S. Senate and Congress in 2018, and again for the U.S. Senate in 2020, and governor in 2021. Last year, he ran for a condo board seat in Atlantic City. 

Singh becomes the third Indian American candidate vying for the Republican nomination after former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy.

“While President Trump was undoubtedly the greatest president of my lifetime and had my support as a MAGA Republican since day one. America needs more,” he said in a video posted on social media, announcing his candidacy. He described himself as a “lifelong Republican” and “America First” conservative who worked to restore the conservative wing of the New Jersey Republican Party. Once dubbed a ‘perennial candidate’ by the local media, Singh called himself the “only pureblood candidate” because he “never gave in to the COVID vaccinations. “We need strong leadership to reverse the changes that have occurred in the past few years and restore American values. That is why I have decided to seek the Republican Party’s nomination for the 2024 election for the office of president of the United States.”

Singh entered New Jersey politics in 2017 as a candidate for governor.  He finished third in a field of five Republican candidates, winning 9.8% of the vote. He briefly sought the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate in 2018 before switching to the congressional race in New Jersey’s 2nd district to replace 12-term Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-Ventnor). While Singh secured several organization lines, he lost the Republican primary to former Atlantic County Freeholder Seth Grossman by 2,232 votes, 39%-30.5%, in a four-candidate race.

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He ran against U.S. Senator Cory Booker in 2020 but lost the Republican primary by 8,727 votes against former U.S. Food and Drug Administration executive Rik Mehta.  In 2021, he lost to former state Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli, who won a four-way primary for the Republican nomination. That year, Mehta filed a defamation lawsuit against Singh.

Local news reports including, New Jersey Globe and Insider NJ said at the time that in the lawsuit, Mehta accused Singh of spending more than $300,000 on a “smear campaign to flout the truth and create a series of repeated lies” through press releases, digital advertising and mailers. It alleges that Sing’s campaign targeted Mehta’s background as a pharmaceutical executive, accusing him of promoting dangerous opioids for Big Pharma and labeling him a “baby killer” for selling “abortion pills.”

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