Half-Punjabi accountant running for Senate in US state of Nevada

  • PTI, Washington
  • Updated: May 11, 2016 18:48 IST
The state primary is scheduled on June 14 and the general elections on November 8. (Photo: Wikimedia)

Half-Punjabi public accountant Bobby Mahindra is running for a Senate seat in the US state of Nevada by employing a non-conventional anti-corruption campaign that promises to get “dirty money” out of politics.

His father, Narendra Lal Mahindra, is from Gwalior, and mother, Sunita Mahindra, from Punjab. Bobby Mahindra pins his hope on the grass-roots campaign he built to replace Senate majority leader Harry Reid, 76, who has held the position since 1987. Mahindra, 42, claimed he had “achieved the real frontrunner status” by building a campaign on Facebook and, unlike other candidates, “not taking a single penny from corrupt sources”. “I am the most-liked politician (on Facebook) in Nevada,” he told PTI.

“I knew that I would run for office one day; however, I never expected it to be right now, until I looked at the candidates. I wanted a politician that would stand for the anti-corruption movement — socially liberal but fiscally conservative. Eventually, I realised that it’s better to be part of the solution than complaining all the time,” said Mahindra. He is pitted against three other candidates, including frontrunner Catnerine Cortez Masto, former attorney general of Nevada, in the Democratic primary seat that Reid vacated. Reid, who is not seeking a re-election, has endorsed Masto to replace him.

The state primary is scheduled on June 14 and the general elections on November 8. Mahindra has 21,000 supporters on his Facebook page as opposed to less than 15,000 of Masto. Republican Senate race frontrunner Congressman Joe Heck has less than 17,000. Mahindra, who has lived in Las Vegas since 2011, said his non-conventional campaign would win him the June primaries.

He is using his Facebook page as a discussion board, where he says he addresses Nevadans directly by posting personal responses to complex political topics that politicians deflect with the established “non-answers”. After the release of Panama papers, which exposed the names of politicians, celebrities, and extremely rich people from across the world who had stashed illegal wealth abroad, the campaign had taken off, said Mahindra.

He alleged Masto and Heck were frontrunners only in raising money from corrupt special interests, super PACs, and corporate America, with each raising more than $5 million (`33 crore). “Without corruption, we can easily grow America with new leadership from Nevada. Socially liberal but fiscally conservative,” he said.

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