The two Democrats have been engaged in social media war for some time.
Indian American Democrat Suraj Patel, who is running for New York’s 12th District, has raised nearly $1.1 million ahead of his primary on June 26, 2018.
In the Democratic primary, Patel along with three other democratic insurgents will challenge incumbent Carolyn Maloney, who has been representing the District since 2013.
The District 12 of New York, which has a long-standing tradition of electing Democrats over Republicans, is also one of the richest in the United States.
Patel, a businessman and an adjunct professor at New York University’s Stern School of Business, is running the campaign in full throttle with 45 interns spreading the word across the 12th District.
The heavily Democratic district, which is also one of the richest in the country, covers parts of Harlem and western Queens. A member of Congress since 1993, Maloney now has a real challenger in the form of Patel in the June 26 primary.
Patel, who has a law degree from NYU, is also an alumnus of the Stanford University and UK’s Cambridge University. He is the president of the Sun Group of Companies, a real estate development and investment firm specializing in the hospitality industry. Patel worked for the Obama campaigns in 2008 and 2013, and also served on the 2013 inauguration committee.
“I’m not running against her; I’m running against apathy,” Patel said in an interview with The Washington Post. “Something like 75 percent of young voters in this district voted for president in 2016, and something like 2 percent voted in the congressional primary. Why would you vote, if your only choice is a 25-year incumbent?”
Even though a majority of Democrats back 72-year-old incumbent Maloney, Patel became her immediate challenger for the primary after he raised more than $500,000 in his first quarter.
Patel once again surprised his opposition campaigners by raising $525,000, which stood slightly above Maloney’s fund of $500,000.
Suraj Patel is not the first Indian American to contest for the 12th District challenging Maloney. Earlier, corporate attorney Reshma Saujani had challenged the incumbent but suffered heavily as she lost by a 4-to-1 landslide.
But ever since Trump administration took charge of the White House, the prospects of Maloney has faded slightly as Patel campaign has been portraying her as someone who authorized the war in Iraq and as a representative who continues to oppose the Iran nuclear deal.
Apart from this, the two Democrats have been engaged in social media war for some time.
Maloney had attacked Patel’s inexperience after one of the campaign forums saying, “When someone runs for office, you can ask: Do they have a record of doing anything to help other people? Have they served on their block association? Have they come up with ideas to help their neighborhood? A lot of people are running for Congress, and they’ve never done anything.”
District 12 of New York, which has a leniency towards Democratic camp will go in for primary on June 26, 2018. At the moment, Patel seems to be the only strong campaigner who is taking on incumbent Maloney even though two other Democrats, Sander Hick and Peter Lindner, have filed their nominations.
Contrary to the fierce battle between the Democrats for the Primary with just one candidate, Eliot Rabin, filing nomination from the Republican quarter, the Republican party will go in for the November 6 elections.
Last time, the Republican party candidate Robert Ardini defeated in the landslide victory of Maloney, who won with 83.2% votes against 16.8%.