Indian origin Neel Kashkari wins Republican backing

  • Yashwant Raj, Hindustan Times, Washington
  • Updated: Apr 30, 2014 01:43 IST
Indian-American-Neel-Kashkari-who-is-running-for-governorship-of-California

The Republican party establishment is rallying behind Indian American Neel Kashkari, who is running for governorship of California. But can he swing the party nomination?

Former president George W Bush, his brother Jeb Bush, possibly a candidate for the White House in 2106, and the 2012 presidential hopeful Mitt Romney have endorsed him.

And so have a whole host of Republican leaders such as the chairman of the all-powerful House oversight committee, Darrell Issa, according to the Kashkari campaign.

Kashkari is a former US treasury department official who, as part of President Bush’s economic recovery team, designed the Troubled Asset Relief Program of 2008. Kashkari’s parents came to the US from India 50 years ago.

Kashkari has trailed in the polls badly and Los Angeles Times has called him "virtually unknown" with limited ability to raise funds. Kashkari is up against state assemblyman Tim Donnelly, a favourite of the Tea Party, a stridently conservative wing of the Republican party, who is raising prodigiously.

In California’s election system, different from the rest of the country, the primaries will throw up top two candidates, who can be either from the two parties separately or from one. But he has the prized endorsements.

"Democrats’ big-government policies have hurt the middle class and reduced opportunity for Americans across the country, and that’s the reason it’s so important to elect leaders like Neel Kashkari who understand how to jumpstart the private sector, fix our schools and get people working again," said Romney.

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