obama endorses

Sara Gideon was among three Indian American candidates endorsed by former President Barack Obama Aug. 3. (saragideon.com screen grab)

Former President Barack Obama Aug. 3 announced his endorsement of several Democratic candidates, including three Indian Americans and one Bangladeshi American running for office.

The three Indian Americans endorsed by Obama in a list he posted on the website Medium, endorsing 118 Democrats in 17 states, are Sara Gideon in Maine, Ronnie Chatterji in North Carolina, and Sri Preston Kulkarni in Texas. Bangladesh American Nina Ahmad in Pennsylvania was also on his list of endorsements.

The list was billed as the former president’s first wave of endorsements ahead of the 2020 election, bangordailynews.com reported.

Gideon, who is Indian American and Armenian, overwhelmingly won the Maine primary July 14 to take on Susan Collins, who has represented Maine in the Senate since 1997. Gideon had previously been endorsed by former Vice President Joe Biden, and on July 31, was also endorsed by the Maine State Council of Machinists in a reversal for the labor group that backed Collins, a Republican, in her 2014 re-election bid, noted the bangordailynews.com. It also reported that the race for the Senate seat currently held by Collins will be one of the most high-profile races in the country as Democrats look to erode Republicans’ majority in the chamber.

In his Medium post, Obama wrote: “I’m proud to endorse this diverse and hopeful collection of thoughtful, empathetic, and highly qualified Democrats. Together, these candidates will help us redeem our country’s promise by sticking up for working class people, restoring fairness and opportunity to our system, and fighting for the good of all Americans — not just those at the top. They make me optimistic not just about our party’s chances in November, but about our country’s future long after that. So if you’re in one of their districts or states, make sure you vote for them this fall. And if you can, vote early — by mail or in person.”

In North Carolina, Democrat Chatterji is running for the post of state treasurer. In a tightly-contested primary March 3, Chatterji secured the nomination with 35.79 percent of the vote. He will face Republican incumbent Dale Folwell in the general election.

Kulkarni, aiming to win Texas’s 22nd Congressional District seat, also won the March 3 primary, scoring 53.1 percent of the vote to win the nomination by nearly 30 points over Derrick Reed.

And in Pennsylvania, Ahmad is running for state auditor-general.

In related news Aug. 3, U.S. Senator Kamala Harris endorsed Hiral Tiperneni’s campaign for Congress in Arizona’s 6th Distict.

Citing Tipirneni’s experience in the emergency room, Harris said in a statement: "Dr. Hiral Tipirneni has dedicated her career to fighting for her patients as an emergency room physician and cancer research advocate. In Congress, Hiral will fight to ensure every American has quality, affordable health care," adding: "She will replace a corrupt Washington insider with a voice for the people."

Tipirneni responded by saying: "I am so proud to have the endorsement of Senator Kamala Harris. I look forward to working alongside her in Congress to fight to expand access to the health care system and end corruption in Washington.”

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