After convincingly winning the runoff election held on May 22nd, Indian American Democratic Party candidate Sri Preston Kulkarni has been declared the Party’s official candidate for Texas’ 22nd Congressional District.
Kulkarni, who had been in a hotly-contested race against Letitia Plummer, got 9,502 – or 62.12 percent – of the 15,296 votes. Plummer, on the other hand, managed a mere 5,794 votes – or 37.88 percent, giving the young Indian American diplomat a nearly 35-point win. Kulkarni now advances to the November general where he hopes to unseat Republican incumbent Pete Olson.
Kulkarni and Plummer were the top two vote-getters in the March 6 primary, with the Indian American receiving 31.8 percent of the vote to Plummer’s 24.3 percent, setting up the runoff While not personally congratulating Kulkarni for the win, Plummer posted a humble concession on her campaign’s Facebook page.
“Today, May 22nd, we made history in District 22. Our movement, uniting diverse communities through shared values, took us across the finish line and helped me become your Democratic nominee for U.S. Congress. None of this would have been possible without our hundreds of volunteers, from middle schoolers to senior citizens, and, of course, the thousands of voters who participated in this election,” Kulkarni wrote on his Facebook page. “I am beyond thankful to be in this fight with you. I look forward to working with y’all to make sure our communities and our families get the representation they deserve in Congress,” he added.
“I resigned as a diplomat in the U.S. State Department, where I had served our country for 14 years. I met with and listened to thousands of people in District 22 on how to make that much needed change possible. We stand proud and celebrate the beautiful diversity of our unique neighborhoods. We have shown we can bridge our communities and have our voices represented,” Kulkarni said.
The 22nd Congressional District covers a diverse region of southeast Texas and includes the cities of Sugar Land, Missouri City, Deer Park, Pearland and Galveston. had the support of Democratic establishment figures such as Fort Bend County’s past Democratic chair, Don Bankston, an executive member of the Texas Democratic Committee, who argued that the attack on Kulkarni was “off base and potentially slanderous,” the Chronicle report said.
On his website, Kulkarni stated that he received his bachelor’s degree at the University of Texas and was raised in Houston by his parents, Margaret and Venkatesh Kulkarni, a published novelist, who immigrated from India to the United States.
He said his parents had moved to Houston in 1980, where his father taught at Rice University and his mother worked for Exxon. His bio on his website also said that during his State Department tenure, he had done several overseas tours in Iraq, Israel, Russia, Taiwan and Jamaica. As a Pearson Fellow in 2015, his bio noted that he served as a foreign policy and defense adviser to Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), helping her with her work as a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee.