Participants can ask the governor questions about issues related to Indian Americans.
Florida’s Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is running for reelection, is holding a live virtual rally on October 20, hosted by Indian American entrepreneur and community leader Danny Gaekwad.
DeSantis supporters can join the virtual rally and a question-answer session with the Republican leader, who is considered a frontrunner for the GOP nomination for president in 2024, at 4.45 pm on Oct. 20 through the We Must Meet platform at www.WeMustMeet.com.
Gaekwad will moderate the discussion, where participants can ask the governor questions about issues related to Indian Americans.
The Baroda-born Gaekwad told The American Bazaar that he expects tens of thousands of join the event.
WHAT: Virtual Rally with Gov. Ron DeSantis
WHEN: October 20, 2022; 4:45 pm
“For long, Indian Americans have been part of the larger Asian American community,” the Ocala, FL, resident said. “It is time for us to showcase our distinct identity and political brand. There is a saying in American politics that if you are not at the table, you will be on the menu. My goal is to make sure that the Indian American community is at the table, not on the menu.”
Gaekwad said the forum provides an opportunity for Indian Americans to ask the governor questions about issues that concerns the community and trigger a debate.
DeSantis, who has served since 2019 as the 46th governor of Florida is facing Democratic nominee, Charlie Crist in the Nov 8 gubernatorial election.
Before being elected governor, DeSantis represented Florida’s 6th district in the US House of Representatives from 2013 to 2018. He was first elected to Congress in 2012, defeating his Democratic opponent Heather Beaven.
In November 2019, DeSantis became the first Florida leader to host Diwali celebration at the Governor’s Mansion. It came a year after he said at a fundraiser, hosted by Gaekwad at his home, that he will celebrate Diwali at the Governor’s Mansion in his first year in office.
Gaekwad, 61, is an influential figure in Florida’s Republican politics, having raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to candidates running for local, state and national offices.
As former Florida State Senator Dennis K. Baxley says in a recent documentary, “In Florida, no one seriously pursues public office without coming to see Danny Gaekwad. Because they know he brings not only his commitment, his vision, his judgment, but he’s all in. When he’s with you, he brings his resources to bear he brings his relationships to bear.”
Gaekwad, who was born in Baroda, came to the United States in 1987. His maiden business venture in the country was a convenience store in suburban Orlando. By the mid-1990s, he and wife, Manisha, built and sold 26 convenience stores.
A first-generation Indian American businessman, Gaekwad is the founder and CEO of NDS USA Information Technology, an IT firm and Danny G Management that runs a chain of restaurants and hotels across Florida.
One of the largest Indian American Republican donors and bundlers, Gaekwad has donated and raised money for some of the top Republican leaders, including former President Donald Trump besides a number of congressmen and local officials.
(This post was updated on October 9, 2022)