Hindu American Presidential Candidate Tulsi Gabbard Raises over $237,000, Overpowers Kamala HarrisTop Stories

April 22, 2019 10:19
Hindu American Presidential Candidate Tulsi Gabbard Raises over $237,000, Overpowers Kamala Harris

(Image source from: www.tulsi2020.com)

The Hindu American Hawaii Representative Tulsi Gabbard has raised more than $237,000, in the 2020 presidential fundraising from the Indian American so far, vastly outraising Indian American California Senator Kamala Harris.

The Indian American Harris has so far raised only $72,606 from the community, according to AAPI Data, which publishes data and policy research on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

Though Harris’ state, California, has the largest Indian American population in the country, more than 712,000, yet, her campaign hasn’t received traction among Indian American campaign donors, the AAPI Data research reveals.

However, the senator received an important endorsement from the influential Indian American Impact Fund earlier this week.

“In such a critically important election, one that will shape policy and politics for generations to come, Indian Americans can’t afford to stay on the sidelines,” it said explaining the endorsement.

The Fund, the first major Indian American political group to endorse Harris, said that it will mobilize its network of resources to ensure that the senator “secures the Democratic nomination and is elected the next President of the United States of America.”

Harris, unlike Gabbard, has not made any attempts to reach out to the Indian American community so far, even though she has repeatedly cited her Indian identity and her mother’s influence on her.

On the other hand, Gabbard, an Iraq war veteran and the first Hindu candidate to get elected to U.S. Congress, has a huge grassroots following among right-leaning Hindu Americans, having closely aligned with them right from the beginning of her congressional career.

As soon as she announced the launch of her presidential campaign in January, her campaign sent out an email touting her Hindu credentials. “Tulsi has been a Hindu American leader in the truest sense,” the email said. “From being the first-ever member of the U.S. Congress to take the oath on the Bhagavad Gita to fiercely advocating for not only her constituents, but for issues impacting the well-being of Hindus here at home and around the world, Tulsi’s approach to lawmaking and diplomacy has been one guided by dharma and steeped in the spirit of karma yoga.”

The email, intended for Hindu American supporters, also noted her past fight against inaccurate and disrespectful presentations of Hindu teachings and traditions in the media and public school textbooks. “She has unapologetically advocated for civil and human rights - speaking up not only for Hindu minorities but all people who are suffering,” the email said.

In the past Indian Americans have donated huge amounts to congressional and gubernatorial candidates from the community. However, their track record in bankrolling candidates from the community so far is inconsistent.

By Sowmya Sangam

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