Sri Preston Kulkarni, an Indian American Democrat, running for Congress in Texas’ 22nd district, has adopted a unique way to campaign for votes. Kulkarni and his troop of multicultural, multilingual volunteers are painting the election campaign with a more personal touch by asking for votes in 13 different languages, including six major dialects spoken in India and a Nigerian language called Igbo.
Kulkarni’s election campaign website ‘Kulkarni for Congress’ says he speaks Spanish, Hindi, Mandarin Chinese, Hebrew, and Russian.
Counting on the minority communities, Kulkarni claims this multilingual outreach is one of its kind in the 2nd most diverse congressional district in America. A report by The Intercept describes how minority communities historically didn’t vote because of inactive participation in the campaigning process. But Kulkarni’s approach may change the face of politics in this region, bringing them to the fore. Volunteers from all age groups in his election campaigns add another layer of inclusivity.
Citing his campaign’s internal figures, the report says they increased the Asian-American percentage of the primary electorate from 6 percent in 2014, the last midterm election, to 28 percent in 2018.
Fighting against the incumbent Pete Olsen – who called him a “liberal Indo-American carpetbagger’ — 40-year-old Harvard graduate Kulkarni, whose Texan roots (maternal) go as far back as 1600s (he is a direct descendant of the founding father of Texas Sam Houston), could flip the mood in Texas in the November elections this year.
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