2 Indian-Americans Raise $5.8 Million, Emerge Top Fund-raiser in US Elections
Washington: Two Indian Americans, running as candidates for Senate and Congressional elections, have raised USD 4.6 million and USD 1.2 million respectively. Shiva Ayyadurai, 54, is running as an independent senatorial candidate from Massachusetts against the powerful incumbent Elizabeth Warren from the Democratic Party.
Trying to run an unconventional campaign on the slogan of “Only a real Indian can defeat the fake Indian”, Ayyadurai said that his campaign ended March 2018 with a total of USD 4.6 million in contributions. The first quarter of 2018 saw the campaign receiving over USD 2.5 million and it had over USD 105,000 cash on hand, he said.
The Warren campaign has not released its latest figures. But at the start of the year, she had more than USD 14 million in her campaign account. The Mumbai-born scientist and entrepreneur is known for his controversial claim of being the “inventor of email”, based on the electronic mail software called “EMAIL which he wrote as a high school student in the late 1970s.
The “Shiva 4 Senate” campaign said its fund-raising contributions, a formidable social media presence, combined with nearly 4,000 volunteers, who have signed on to the campaign across Massachusetts, reflect the enormous strength of this historic grassroots campaign.
On April 5, the campaign received a letter from the City of Cambridge stating that fines of USD 300 per day would be levied along with legal action if the campaign refused to take down the signage “Only a real Indian can defeat the fake Indian.”
“Clearly, Elizabeth Warren and the Establishment fear the Shiva 4 Senate campaign,” he said. Meanwhile, an Indian American Congressional candidate from Maryland, Aruna Miller has raised USD 1.2 million in less than a year after she announced her electoral bid for the US House of Representatives.
If elected in the November 2018 elections, she would be only the second Indian American woman to be elected to the US House of Representatives. Pramila Jayapal from Washington State is the first Indian American woman to be elected in the 2016 general elections.
Miller, 53, currently a state legislature, is seeking to enter the House of Representative from the 6th Congressional District of Maryland. As the top fundraiser in the race, the Miller campaign reported raising USD 325,761 in the first quarter of 2018, bringing her total raised to USD 1,188,423 for the eleven months of her campaign. Miller’s quarterly fund-raising total is nearly twice her nearest competitor.
Miller’s FEC reports show that over 3,200 individual contributors to date have given a total of over 3,800 distinct contributions to her campaign, with 98 per cent of the contributions coming from individuals. A career civil engineer, she worked for 25 years for Montgomery County. In 2010, she was elected to the Maryland House of Delegates where she represents the 15th District and serves on the Appropriations Committee.
The current Democratic incumbent to this Congressional District John Delaney has said that he will not seek re-election and instead has announced to run for 2020 Democratic party’s presidential primary. The primary elections for Maryland’s 6th Congressional District is scheduled for June 26. Apart from Miller, four others including an Afghan-American Nadia Hashimi have declared themselves in the race.
– With agency inputs