An Indian-American political action committee (PAC) has endorsed Democratic presidential candidate Senator Kamala Harris of Indian and Jamaican descent for the 2020 presidential race.
“In such a critically important election, one that will shape policy and politics for generations to come, Indian Americans can’t afford to stay on the sidelines,” the Indian American Impact Fund’s co-founder Raj Goyle said in a statement last week. Goyle, also a former Kansas state lawmaker, said it was for that reason that the organization chose to be “the first Indian-American or Asian-American political organization to endorse” Harris, whose mother was from Chennai, Tamil Nadu, media reports say.
“In the coming months, we look forward to mobilizing our network of resources to ensure Senator Harris secures the Democratic nomination and is elected the next president of the U.S.,” Goyle said.
Harris thanked the Impact Fund for the endorsement. “This endorsement and the support of the Indian American Impact Fund and its members means so much to me,” she said in a statement. “Together, we will fight for an America that restores the values of truth and justice and works for working people, from raising incomes to expanding health care.”
The Impact Fund Executive Director and former Maryland state delegate Aruna Miller said her group was “proud to endorse” Harris. “She is a tested leader who has demonstrated, throughout her career, a strong commitment to our community’s progressive and pluralistic values,” Miller said.
Harris, one of the first Democrats to launch the presidential campaign in this election cycle, is also one of the front-runners at the moment. If elected, she will become the first woman, the first Indian-American, the first Asian American, and the first African American woman to serve as president.
Meanwhile, Sen. Kamala Harris released 15 years of her tax returns las week, showing that she and her husband earned almost $1.9 million in 2018. Most of the adjusted gross income of $1,884,319 in 2018 reported by Harris, D-Calif., came from her husband Doug Emhoff’s earnings as a lawyer. Harris reported $157,352 in Senate salary and $320,125 in net profit from the memoir she released before announcing her campaign.
Tulsi Gabbard, the first Hindu US Congresswoman and Democratic 2020 presidential candidate, has vastly outraised Senator Kamala Harris of Indian and Jamaican descent among Indian-American donors in the 2020 presidential fundraising derby so far.
Gabbard, who is a Hindu American but not Indian-American, has raised more than $237,000, from the community. In comparison, Harris, daughter of an Indian American mother and Jamaican American father, has so far raised only $72,606 from the community, according to AAPI Data, which publishes data and policy research on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
In a clear sign that Harris, one of the strongest contenders in the crowded 2020 Democratic field, has not been fully embraced by the community, the Senator even trails New Jersey’s Corey Booker among Indian-Americans, the American Bazaar reported on Saturday.
Booker has raised more than $131,000 from Indian Americans. A big reason for that is New Jersey is home to nearly 370,000 Indian Americans. But Harris’ home state of California has the largest Indian American population in the country – more than 712,000. Yet, her campaign hasn’t received traction among Indian American campaign donors, the AAPI Data research reveals.
Historically, Indian Americans have donated huge amounts to congressional and gubernatorial candidates from the community. However, their track record in bankrolling candidates from the community so far is spotty. In the last presidential election cycle, the campaign of former Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal attracted only lukewarm support of the community.