The 9th District includes Mountain House, Tracy north of Interstate 205, the majority of San Joaquin County and a portion of Contra Costa County. It was created by a citizens commission during the 2011 redistricting process.
Gill, a 25-year-old San Joaquin County native, is slated to speak sometime between noon and 2 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time on Monday, Aug. 27, according to campaign spokesman Colin Hunter.
Gill will be one of several speakers during the convention, at which former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is anticipated to be named the official Republican Party nominee to challenge President Barack Obama for the White House. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, is expected to be Romney’s vice presidential running mate.
Hunter said Gill planned to use the time on the first day of the four-day convention to cast a light on local issues.
“This is not about partisan politics,” Hunter said Thursday, Aug. 23. “It’s really an opportunity that Ricky wants to use to talk about the place he’s born and raised — the valley — which has been so neglected in recent years (by Washington, D.C.).”
Hunter said staff members from the office of Speaker of the House John Boehner asked Gill to speak, and he quickly accepted.
“I think it shows that people are excited about who Ricky is and what he stands for, and his potential to broaden the appeal of the party, in California and possibly beyond,” Hunter said. “I think Ricky has a unique set of attributes that make him a great voice and a great face for San Joaquin County.”
Lauren Smith, communications director for 61-year-old McNerney, said Gill’s speaking engagement was proof that Gill was merely adopting positions that have become common in today’s GOP.
“It paints a pretty clear picture of a young kid who’s proving his conservative, right-wing credentials,” Smith said Thursday.
She said it was an indication Gill had signed on to what she termed the “Romney-Ryan agenda.”
She said McNerney, on the other hand, “has represented the area for close to six years and has proven his independent credentials.”
McNerney’s old district, the 11th, included all of San Joaquin County except the center of Stockton and an arm stretching south through French Camp and Lathrop.
Smith said McNerney was committed to trying to reduce the local foreclosure rate, improve employment opportunities and protect the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta from water grabs, in addition to bringing a planned Veterans Administration hospital to the county.
“A lot of his focus certainly is on job creation, stopping outsourcing — paying attention to the things that are affecting folks every single day,” she said.
Gill, Hunter said, has a background in education policy and agriculture that makes him an ideal fit to represent the area.
He also said Gill’s roots — his parents settled in the Lodi area after immigrating to the United States — give him a connection to the area that his opponent doesn’t have.
“This campaign really began locally, and we built a base of fundraising support here in the valley first and foremost,” Hunter said. “We’ve been able to build on that foundation and continue to outraise McNerney, because McNerney is not from here.”
Gill has indeed outraised McNerney in the 2012 campaign cycle so far.
According to the Federal Elections Commission, Gill had collected $1,778,941 as of June 30, compared with McNerney’s $1,483,683.
Most of Gill’s donations — $1,435,062 — came from individual donors, while McNerney counted $899,577 in individual donations. The rest of McNerney’s money came from various political action committees. Gill received $174,991 in PAC money and $152,222 in candidate loans.