Sri Preston Kulkarni said, 'With your support, I promise to be a strong voice in Congress for returning to real Texas values, such as truth, fairness, generosity towards others, and respect for the dignity of the individual. With your help, we can make America decent again'
New Delhi: Former diplomat Sri Preston Kulkarni is running for the US Congress in Texas's 22nd district armed with a unique campaign in 13 languages including six major dialects spoken in India.
Democrat Kulkarni is up against incumbent Rep. Pete Olson, who described the former as “Indo-American who’s a carpetbagger”.
Finding it hard to justify the Donald Trump administration's approaches, particularly over race and immigration, Kulkarni, last December, chose to quit his dream job at the US State Department to run for Congress.
Kulkarni has joined politics after 14 years in foreign services. He speaks Spanish, Hindi, Mandarin Chinese, Hebrew, and Russian.
"There is a little bit of nervousness on the other side about (my) campaign," Kulkarni told PTI.
He is equipped with a multilingual, multigenerational, multicultural battery of devoted volunteers, in a region that national Democrats had long ignored, but suddenly believe can turn topsy-turvy.
"With your support, I promise to be a strong voice in Congress for returning to real Texas values, such as truth, fairness, generosity towards others, and respect for the dignity of the individual. With your help, we can make America decent again," the 40-year-old wrote on his website kulkarniforcongress.com.
He has made Asian-American and Pacific-Islander (AAPI) outreach a fundamental part of his campaign.
Kulkarni has held telephone banks in 13 dialects, including Hindi, Tamil, Urdu, Telugu, Marathi and Gujarati and a Nigerian dialect called Igbo.
Organisers have dispatched volunteers to micro-target tiny communities. Kulkarni has taken up a street-by-street approach that has already paid dividends.
Kulkarni’s micro-level efforts paid off during the primary. He led a five-way race with 30% of the vote and then won the runoff with more than 60%. He defeated four challengers for the Democratic nomination.
His internal figures exhibit that it has increased the Asian-American percentage of the primary electorate from six per cent in 2014, the last midterm election, to 28 per cent in 2018.
Kulkarni asserts that it is not about Trump as one individual. He stated, “The anti-immigrant sentiment is something that should worry all of us because we are an immigrant country and honestly, without immigrants, most of our fortune 500 companies wouldn't be here," he said.
Kulkarni, a cousin of BJP MP Poonam Mahajan, hopes that the entire community would come up to vote for the same in November.
Great meet and greet today in Richmond! pic.twitter.com/Xgs36Ehaml— Sri Preston Kulkarni (@SriPKulkarni) October 21, 2018
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Last Updated Oct 22, 2018, 1:41 PM IST