India Post News Service
In the recent California primary election of June 7, 2022, Rishi Kumar emerged victorious as one of two candidates continuing to the November general election. Kumar emerged victorious over six other candidates that included two democrats. Incumbent Anna Eshoo received less than 50% of votes for the first time in her decades-long career – the second worst of any Democratic incumbent in California (there are 42 in total).
Kumar was overjoyed, “We were delighted and honored to have the support of our district residents. In November 2020, we won a historic 127,000 votes in this very same race – more votes than any prior challenger in 30 years and we have gained new supporters every week since. We said we are back for victory with the 2022 run and we truly are! Six other incredible candidates made me a better candidate. I thank each and every one of them for running and we wish them the best of luck. I look forward to debating Anna Eshoo once again about the burning issues of our congressional district and America.”
Anna Eshoo was also excited about the outcome. She wrote in an email, “I’m very happy and proud to share this news with you. As promised, we ran a positive, ethical campaign, and at the end of the day, I have what no one else has – YOU, my devoted and spectacular supporters.”
Anna Eshoo and Rishi Kumar, the two candidates with the most votes will be officially certified on July 15 and will face-off in the general election for the second time in row.
Kumar is optimistic, stemming from the historically low percentage of votes Anna Eshoo received in the 2022 primary. He said, “Our district is ready for change and we are poised to win in November. Silicon Valley will finally send a tech savvy Congressional Representative to Washington. Anna Eshoo is facing dwindling support and the district is ready for a new energy and new leadership to take charge with the tough challenges of our congressional district and America. We are reeling with inflation, high gasoline prices and supply chain issues. America wants new blood!”
Anna Eshoo was elected to her first term in the House of Representatives 30 years ago in 1992. Since then, she ran unopposed in many elections before changes in California election rules. Under California’s top-two primary system (which was approved by the voters of California in 2010), all candidates are listed on the same primary ballot and only the first and second-place winners move on to the November general election, regardless of party affiliation. Since the top-two primary system, Anna Eshoo has won the primary with an average of 66%, with a high of 73% in 2018. In 2020, during Rishi Kumar’s first challenge, Anna Eshoo dropped to 61%. Now, in 2022 with Rishi Kumar’s persistent challenge and a strong grassroots campaign, Anna Eshoo has received only 48% of the votes – a huge drop! For the first time, Eshoo spent upwards of a million dollars in this primary election, even running expensive ads on television, with many campaign consultants on her payroll – a stark contrast from prior primary elections when Eshoo did not need to run a campaign of any significance.
Rishi called out the significance of Eshoo’s under 50% drop. He said, “There are more voters who voted against Eshoo than those who voted for. It is a statement that shows residents want a directional shift. I really believe that our campaign has turned a corner and we have gained a huge traction since we started March 2019 with a dream and an aspiration to fix Silicon Valley’s challenges teaming with five friends who believed in us. We respect Eshoo’s time in Congress, but America cannot wait. With our win in November, I would be the first tech-executive from Silicon Valley in Congress. It is quite a dichotomy that Silicon Valley, the innovation economy of the world, has never had a tech savvy congressional representative.”
Rishi outlined the differences, “A key differentiator for my run over the incumbent’s is my unwillingness to accept the dark-tainted funds: PACs and Special Interest Groups money. On the city council, I continue to reject real-estate campaign contribution money. Our run is about Ethics in Politics and that will never change. I don’t believe in partisan politics. Representative Eshoo has toed the party line for years, while I am willing to reach across the aisle to get stuff done.”
Kumar was reelected to the Saratoga city council with the most votes in 64 years of the city’s election history. He credits this historical win for tackling tough challenges such as rising crime and water rates and delivering tangible results, along with a fearlessness to call out the issues to challenge the system.
Kumar expressed tremendous gratitude, stating, “I have seen immense support from my community both in fundraising and volunteering. Thanks to their support, we have had a spend of over a million dollars in the last 3 years of this campaign. I am so grateful to every person who shared their time, talents, and funds to help the campaign effort. I am proud of our team that brought energy and an innovative spirit to our run: We knocked on 200,000 doors, and walked streets in every city in both Santa Clara and San Mateo counties, as well as the unincorporated coastside. Without the community’s support, I would just be a man with some ideas and signs. I didn’t start my life in public service with the intent of running for Congress. I saw the need for someone like me – a tech executive who could get things done – to be involved with everyday challenges that our neighbors were facing.”
Kumar’s internship program continues attracting a lot of Bay Area high school and college students. “Our summer internship recruitment is already seeing a spurt with so many high school and college students joining our run to restore integrity in Washington. We continue rejecting the PAC money and Special Interest Group money that is polluting American politics –– we are keenly interested in addressing the People’s challenges, not those special interest groups. We’re back to win and are excited to be on the November ballot…again.”
The general election is set for November 8, 2022. Kumar is excited about his prospects, “With our win in November, I would be honored to be the 5th Indian American in the U.S. House of Representatives.”