As we close out 2009 and head in to the holidays I wanted to provide a quick update on three desi candidates who have a shot at making big headlines in 2010. The first one is my cousin Manan Trivedi who is running in the PA-6th. He has quickly gone from a relatively unknown contender to a candidate that has lined up a string of endorsements, including from some figures who un-endorsed his opponent and switched to him:
It looks increasingly as if Democrats have a dogfight on their hands in suburban Philadelphia’s Sixth Congressional District.
Rep. Chris Carney (D., Pa.) announced yesterday that he was endorsing Manan Trivedi, a Reading doctor and veteran of the current Iraq war, in the primary. Carney is the first member of the state’s congressional delegation to back Trivedi.
Carney praised Trivedi’s “admirable dedication to service.”
Former Inquirer editorial writer Doug Pike declared his candidacy in April, hoping to cinch the nomination with personal wealth and a pile of endorsements. Since Trivedi entered the race in September, after leaving the Navy, the two have battled for support and cash. [Link]
p>I remember some pretty harsh comments from folks in my first thread about Trivedi. They claimed giving cash to someone with low name recognition just because they were desi was like throwing the money away. Manan has been proving that when you have good ideas and know how to communicate them, people will listen and shift their support to you, despite your low name recognition. Enough people have now heard his ideas and switched support to him that he has been gaining real momentum. South Asians for Obama just endoresed him as well. He is out almost every night speaking to folks in the community and fundraising. I spoke to him late last week and he told me that the donations to his campaign have made a difference but that the next two months will be critical as far as raising enough cash to remain competitive.
Another desi candidate we have previously mentioned is Ami Bera in the Ca-3rd. The recent big news out of Bera’s campaign is that his democratic primary opponent dropped out. Bera is now gearing up for the general election against a Republican and a third party candidate (who may split the Republican vote):
SMUD board of directors member Bill Slaton did some thinking over the long Thanksgiving weekend, and what he decided to do may turn a lot more attention to Elk Grove.
He dropped out of the race for the District 3 congressional seat currently held by Rep. Dan Lungren (R-Gold River), leaving an Elk Grove resident as the only Democratic challenger.
That Democrat is Ami Bera, a physician and former medical official…
Bera, who has raised more than any other contender, can now turn his attention to the November 2010 general election, where he’ll face Lungren and Art Tuma, a Libertarian. [Link]
If you are counting, that makes two desi physicians running on the democratic ticket in a year (2010) in which it is increasingly likely that healthcare reform will have been passed. Bera has instructions here on how to get involved in his campaign.
The final candidate I wanted to provide a brief update on was South Carolina’s Nikki Randhawa-Haley. Earlier this month she was endorsed by Red State, which is the conservative base’s version of the Daily Kos:
At a time when too many Republicans refuse to fight, Nikki Haley fights. At a time when the rights of the states are under assault from Washington, when the people of the nation are having their wallets, jobs, and lives threatened by an out of touch federal bureaucracy, and when our free market is looked at with contempt by Democrats and many Republicans, we need fighters in charge of the several states.
To paraphrase the first leader of the Republicans, Abraham Lincoln, we can’t spare Nikki Haley. She fights. [Link]
Beside the fact that Haley could potentially be the second Indian American governor in the U.S., the reason this race is so interesting to watch is because it could provide hints about the future direction of the Republican party. Will the voters of South Carolina line up behind Red State’s recommendation, or behind that of former Republican governor and presidential candidate Mike Huckabee who is endorsing Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer instead? Or they might just go their own way and ignore Huck and the blogosphere. Those that would like to get involved with Hakey’s campaign can start here.