Fund Chairman Shekar Narasimhan touts the incumbent’s record on AAPI issues.
AAPI Victory Fund, a pro-Democratic Party group that mobilizes voters from the Asian American and Pacific Islanders communities, has endorsed New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy’s re-election bid.
“We’re thrilled to throw our support behind New Jersey gubernatorial candidate Phil Murphy,” Fund chairman and founder Shekar Narasimhan said in a statement posted on the group’s website Thursday. “Governor Murphy has an excellent record of engaging directly with communities who have been overlooked and excluded from the political decision-making process for far too long.”
Narasimhan, an Indian American, said Murphy’s “eagerness to uplift the AAPI community by appointing a diverse array of voices to leadership positions paired with his outspokenness against anti-Asian violence, has already shifted New Jersey toward greater equality, justice and an improved standard of living.” He added: “We at AAPI Victory Fund are excited to endorse such an exemplary candidate and cannot wait to see what Governor Murphy accomplishes when re-elected as Governor of New Jersey.”
“I am honored to have the support of the AAPI Victory Fund,” Murphy said. “Over the past several years, we’ve seen an alarming rise of discrimination and racism directed toward the AAPI community. But we know that our diversity is our strength and our AAPI community enriches New Jersey. I’m proud to serve all 9.3 million members of our New Jersey family, and look forward to building on the progress we’ve made to create a stronger, fairer and more equitable state for all.”
Gubernatorial elections in New Jersey and Virginia will take place on November 2.
AAPI Victory Fund pointed out that New Jersey, which has the fourth largest AAPI population in the United States, “has been far from immune from the uptick in anti-AAPI rhetoric and subsequent hate crimes.” It noted that long Murphy, who was elected governor in November 2017, has been “a steadfast supporter of the AAPI community.” It added: “His outspokenness against anti-AAPI hate crimes and violence is an asset to AAPIs, not only in New Jersey but nationwide. New Jerseyans deserve a governor who engages directly with marginalized people and uplifts impacted communities in the policymaking process—Governor Murphy has proven himself to be the leader New Jersey needs.”
One of Murphy’s high-profile cabinet picks during the first term was Gurbir S. Grewal as attorney general. Grewal is the first South Asian American attorney general in New Jersey and the first Sikh to hold the position in any state.
He left the position in July to join the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as Director of the Division of Enforcement.
In Virginia, AAPI Victory Fund has endorsed former Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe, who is running for governor against Republican Glenn Youngkin. It has also endorsed two other Democrats: Hala Ayala for lieutenant governor and Mark Herring for attorney general. Herring, the incumbent, has been serving since 2014.
Asian American and Pacific Islanders, numbering more than 22 million, make up about 7 percent of the US population.