Indian American Vivek Viswanathan, who served as a policy adviser in the Clinton campaign, announced his candidacy for California State Treasurer on Wednesday.
“I am the son of immigrants who gave me a chance to get an education and go into public service. We must keep California fiscally strong to give others the opportunity I had,” he said in a statement.
Viswanathan, who most recently served as a special adviser in the office of Gov. Jerry Brown, said he will run “500 miles — through the Central Valley, from San Francisco to San Diego”— to meet voters and listen to them. He also announced the run via twitter:
I am running for California State Treasurer, beginning today, and announcing my 500-mile run across our state to take my campaign directly to voters. Share my video, like my Facebook page, and join me at https://t.co/e9bOL2vKBW #500MilesforCA #RunwithVivek pic.twitter.com/8sXgBhVW2j
— Vivek Viswanathan (@vivekforca) January 17, 2018
“Vivek will campaign by running for all Californians,” the candidate said in the statement. “Next month, Vivek will begin a 500-mile route through the Central Valley, from San Francisco to San Diego, to listen to voters and ensure that they have a voice in the state government.”
Viswanathan said he will not accept donations from corporations, political action committees, or other special interest groups. Instead, he is seeking the help of the people of California to win the election.
On his website, he has announced a platform of “10 big ideas.”
READ: Top Indian Americans in the Clinton campaign (August 23, 2016)
Vowing to protect the hard earned money of taxpayers, he said, if elected, he will expand the rainy day fund to keep the state financially strong for making it ready for any threat even if it is action from the Trump administration. He also plans to introduce a college savings account for every baby born in the state.
“Vivek was a star on Hillary’s policy team and he will be a star as California State Treasurer,” said Jake Sullivan, former Senior Policy Advisor to Secretary Clinton and National Security Advisor to Vice President Biden. “He took on the hardest issues, like skyrocketing tuition and our country’s trillion-dollar student debt burden, and crafted a sweeping policy agenda that won over millions of votes.”
Viswanathan, who earned a JD and an MBA from Stanford, studied US history and international relations at Harvard and Cambridge. He was the recipient of the 2013 Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans.
READ: List of Indian Americans running for Congress in 2018 (January 10, 2018)
During his undergraduate years at Harvard, he was the managing editor of the Harvard Political Review. He earned his master’s in historical studies as a Henry Fellow at the University of Cambridge.
His father, Ramaswamy Viswanathan, is a psychiatrist at the State University of New York Downstate Medical Center. His mother Kusum Viswanathan is a pediatric hematologist-oncologist. She also chairs the department of pediatrics at Brookdale University Hospital.
“Vivek is a brilliant policy mind,” said Ann O’Leary, a prominent California lawyer and policymaker. “Vivek ranks at the very top. He represents the best of his generations. He will be an outstanding treasurer for our state.”