Gill, 25, seeks to represent Mountain House, Tracy north of Interstate 205, and much of San Joaquin County as part of the 9th Congressional District. He looks to unseat Rep. Jerry McNerney, a 61-year-old Democrat also running for the seat.
Gill also told a national TV audience on C-SPAN that his parents are immigrants from India and Africa who came to the United States to pursue the American Dream.
In a phone interview from Tampa after the speech, Gill said he delivered the message he intended — that there is a lot of pride in the community and that it will finally have its chance to come out of the recession under better leadership, including chipping away at the county’s 15.1 percent July unemployment rate, a figure quoted by the state’s Employment Development Department.
The EDD reported the state’s unemployment rate at 10.7 percent and the national rate at 8.3 percent
Identified by a “Young Gun” by the Republican National Campaign Committee and a candidate who has received national Republican support, Gill spoke for about two minutes at the convention Tuesday.
He said he wasn’t nervous speaking to the most powerful Republicans in the country.
“I had a lot of composure, because I had confidence in the message I was delivering,” he said.
While in Tampa, Gill said he met with Pete Sessions, R-Texas, chairman of the National Congressional Campaign Committee, whom he met previously. He also met for the first time Rep. David Dreir, R-San Dimas, chairman of the House Rules Committee.
Lauren Smith, spokeswoman for McNerney’s campaign, saw Gill’s appearance at the convention quite differently.
“It’s quite telling that Ricky was rubbing elbows with the extreme Republican leadership and bringing his ultra-conservative credentials while Jerry McNerney was hard at work at home,” Smith said. “(McNerney) has been working in the district the entire month.”
Gill, who took a red-eye flight to Tampa on Sunday night, expected to be back in San Joaquin County by lunchtime Wednesday, Aug. 29. He was scheduled to attend a fundraising event in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta on Wednesday, and plans to walk precincts as well in the district.