IMPACT raises $10 million war chest for Indian American candidates

Indian American Impact Fund logo

Leading Indian American PAC backs Biden-Harris ticket, 22 others for national, state, local offices.

IMPACT, the leading Indian American advocacy and political action committee, has raised a $10 million war chest to get Indian origin candidates including Kamala Harris, the first Indian American on a national ticket, and Joe Biden, elected.

Raised in just three months, the funds will be spent to support turnout efforts in the Asian American and Indian American community and to elect IMPACT’s 2020 slate of candidates, as well as Indian American candidates running up and down ballots in states across the country.

Besides the Democratic presidential ticket of Biden and Harris, the slate includes six candidates for the US House and 16 candidates for Statewide and local offices: seven for State Senates, Five for State Houses and four others.

“IMPACT’s fundraising strength reflects trends we’re seeing across the country,” IMPACT Executive Director Neil Makhija, said Monday announcing the organization’s groundbreaking effort.

“There’s a level of enthusiasm and excitement about this year’s election among Indian American voters that is palpable, and unrivaled in previous cycles,” he said.

“With an Indian American on the presidential ticket for the first time in history, and a record number of Indian American candidates running for office, Indian American voters are poised to exert a considerable amount of influence in this year’s election, and IMPACT will help mobilize and harness this emerging power.”

IMPACT said it will invest in the presidential, state-wide, and congressional races in battleground states across the country. Investments include committee contributions, paid advertising, targeted turnout operations, and infrastructure building.

READ: ‘This is our time,’ say Indian Americans in politics (October 15, 2020)

This groundbreaking investment comes at a time when Indian Americans — the second largest immigrant group in the US — are beginning to flex their political muscle on the national political stage, it said.

In addition to an Indian American being a historic Democratic nominee for Vice President, the number of Indian Americans in Congress has grown five-fold in just the past eight years and the campaign arm charged with electing Democrats to Congress released its first-ever Hindi-language political ad earlier this year, it noted.

All of these developments have come less than 75 years since South Asians began emigrating to the US, and 55 years after the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, which ended discriminatory quotas and opened the doors to Asian immigrants, IMPACT said.

Besides four sitting members of US Congress — Ami Bera (California), Ro Khanna (California), Pramila Jayapal (Washington),  Raja Krishnamoorthi (Illinois) — Impact is backing two more, Sri Kulkarni (Texas), and Hiral Tipirneni (Arizona) for the US House.

Seven State Senate candidates backed by IMPACT are: Sara Gideon (Maine), Jay Chaudhuri (North Carolina), Jeremy Cooney (New York), Kevin Thomas (New York), Rupande Mehta (New Jersey), Kesha Ram (Vermont), and Nikil Saval (Pennsylvania).

Five candidates for State Houses are: Nima Kulkarni (Kentucky) Padma Kuppa (Michigan), Jennifer Rajkumar (New York), Amish Shah (Arizona), and Vandana Slatter (Washington).

Impact is also backing  Nina Ahmad (Pennsylvania Auditor General), Ronnie Chatterji (North Carolina Treasurer), Pavan Parikh (Ohio Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas) and Ravi Sandill (Texas District Judge).

Fast facts:

Asian Americans are the fastest-growing racial or ethnic voting bloc in the country.

There are projected to be 1.4 million Indian American voters in this year’s election.

Indian Americans register and vote at higher rates.

This year, there will be nearly 500,000 Indian American voters in the battleground states of Florida, Pennsylvania, and Michigan.

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