Ro Khanna vs. Mike Honda contest has competition: Vanila Mathur Singh jumps in on a GOP ticket

Race for CA’s 17th Congressional seat gets crowded.

By Deepak Chitnis

Dr. Vanila Mathur Singh (courtesy of Stanford University's School of Medicine).
Dr. Vanila Mathur Singh (courtesy of Stanford University’s School of Medicine).

WASHINGTON, DC: Dr. Vanila Mathur Singh, an anesthesiologist and clinical associate professor at Stanford University’s School of Medicine, has officially announced her candidacy for California’s 17th Congressional District’s seat.

Singh filed the papers for her candidacy on December 26, making her run official. She will contend as a Republican for a seat that is currently occupied by Democrat Mike Honda, who has held the seat since 2001. Indian American Ro Khanna is also vying for the Congressional seat, as a Democrat.

Singh’s Republican candidacy makes her one of the relative few in the past few years to run for the GOP. She was approached by party leaders last fall to consider running, saying that the outcome of California’s 17th District would be one of the 10 most contentious and politically game-changing elections in 2014.

Singh and her supporters are quick to point out that she is not simply running a “pro-India” platform to win the seat. As a Republican, a large part of her agenda will be to fight against the Affordable Care Act, more commonly known as Obamacare. As a physician, Singh believes that the law simply doesn’t work largely because doctors themselves weren’t even consulted when it was being drafted. Singh has also drawn attention to the fact that several major healthcare providers are not covered under Obamacare, and that the system itself needs either an overhaul or to be completely shut down.

Brought up in the US, Singh earned her medical degree from the George Washington University Medical School in Washington, DC. She completed her fellowship and residency at Cornell University, did her medical internship at Yale University, and was a clinical assistant professor at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) for some time as well.

The daughter of Lalit and Leela Mathur, who are co-founders of the Rajasthan Association of North America, Singh herself has also been an active member of the Indian American community. She is currently a volunteer with the Hindu American Foundation (HAF), and is backed by the Indian Americans for Freedom Super PAC.

Singh has been married for 15 years; she and her husband have two children, seven year-old daughter Raina and six year-old son Arjun.

To contact the author, email to deepakchitnis@americanbazaaronline.com

[This story was updated on 1/16/14.]

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