February 2022 Newsletter Articles

California Trailblazers Announces
2022 Candidate Training Program


California Trailblazers, the candidate training program of the California Republican Party, has announced its 2022 candidate training schedule which will extend through July 2022.

The next scheduled training is Nuts and Bolts in Sacramento on February 12.  Future sessions are scheduled to cover data, digital and in-person communications, fundraising, policy, and grassroots mobilization.  Programs include both virtual and in person training sessions and are listed in the graphic on this page.

California Trailblazers is open to Republican candidates for federal, state and local office so long as they are not challenging Republican incumbent officeholders. Founded in 2011 by CAGOP Chairwoman Jessica Millan Patterson and Congressman Kevin McCarthy, Trailblazers is based on the successful Young Guns program developed by the National Republican Congressional Campaign Committee.

Initially an independent organization aimed at electing candidates to the California State Legislature, Trailblazers was brought into the California Republican Party when Jessica Patterson was elected as Chair in 2019.  CAGOP Political Director Krista Pittman serves as head of California Trailblazers, which has now trained GOP candidates at all levels.

One does not have to be a current candidate in order to attend Trailblazers programs.  In fact, it is an ideal opportunity for those thinking about running for office at some time in the future.  That allows a potential candidate to get the full benefit of the training programs prior to announcing for office.

California Trailblazers boasts an impressive list of alumni serving in the California State Legislature, including Senate Republican Leader Scott Wilk, Assemblywoman and former State Senator Janet Nguyen and recent winner Senator Rosilicie Ochoa-Bogh.  You can learn more about California Trailblazers and register for upcoming programs by clicking on CATrailblazers.

Ritesh Tandon Runs for Congress

By: Roger Riffenburgh

Ritesh Tandon, an engineer, entrepreneur, and nonprofit leader in Silicon Valley, is running for Congress in the South Bay. During his career he has worked to improve the lives of others both in the business he founded and in his nonprofit work.

Ritesh Tandon says he is running because he wants to take a stand against how far left government policies are going. He’s very concerned about companies leaving and mall shops being looted. He wants the government to deal with the misallocation of water resources, the homelessness issue, and the unprecedented gaps between the rich and poor.

Recently, Tandon has been doing research as a Garwood Innovation Fellow at the Garwood Center for Corporate Innovation at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business. His research topic is “How to Revive California’s Economy Using Open Innovation.” He also continues as the CEO of Kricel Corporation, which he founded after working in engineering and marketing at Cisco and GN.

In 2021, Tandon won a U.S. Supreme Court case, Tandon v. Newsom, that defended the rights of religious groups during the pandemic.

As an executive committee member of a nonprofit, Ritesh helped build 11 super specialty eye care hospitals in India, where 150,000 free surgeries are performed every year for disadvantaged children. Ritesh served as president of another nonprofit, where he helped fund the education of over 1800 children and set up ten daycare centers. In addition, he worked to help needy families in the Bay Area.

Ritesh Tandon is running for the second time in Congressional District 17, which has not changed much as a result of redistricting. It includes part of Fremont, Milpitas, the Alviso and Berryessa areas of San Jose, Santa Clara, Sunnyvale, and Cupertino. The incumbent is Ro Khanna, who served in 2020 as a national co-chair for Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign. Tandon should benefit from the experience and exposure he gained during his 2020 campaign in the district.

The grandson of a freedom fighter for Indian independence, Ritesh Tandon grew up in northern India and earned a B.S. degree in engineering. After coming to the United States, he earned an M.S. in computer engineering and an MBA at Santa Clara University, he also met Zurica Dhar, a fellow computer engineer, whom he married. They have two children and live in San Jose.

You can find out more about Ritesh Tandon on his campaign website, tandonforcongress.com.

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