The Indian American Impact Fund July 10 announced it has endorsed Michigan congressional candidate Suneel Gupta and Connecticut state treasurer hopeful Mudita Bhargava.
“I'm honored to have the support of IMPACT and to fight for our shared belief that ‘we all belong.’ Together, we will make sure every American's voice is heard,” said Suneel Gupta in a statement.
Gupta, a Democrat, who earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan and law degree and M.B.A. from Northwestern University, has gone on to have a successful career as an entrepreneur, including serving as the co-founder and chief executive of mobile health company Rise, which lowered the cost of quality care for thousands of patients.
Gupta, a former Groupon executive, and his brother Dr. Sanjay Gupta co-created Rise, a healthcare company that uses technology to shrink the cost of quality healthcare.
After the startup served over 1,000 patients, former first lady Michelle Obama asked Rise to be her team’s official technology partner. Through this public-private partnership, together they delivered health coaching to lower-income areas of the country.
In 2016, Michael Bloomberg convened a bi-partisan commission on the Future of Work, and Gupta was asked to join and bring Rise’s lessons to policymakers.
His time helping people with their health options at Rise – where he was from 2013 to 2016 – has directly correlated with his congressional candidacy.
“Having known Suneel for years, I know he has the passion and experience that will make him an extraordinary Member of Congress,” said Raj Goyle, co-founder of Impact and a former member of the Kansas House of Representatives. “And as the son of Ford’s first female engineer, he’s seen firsthand the promise of America — and will work every day in Congress to make that promise a reality for all Americans.”
Added Impact Fund co-founder and chair Deepak Raj: “As someone who has balanced budgets and helped create good paying jobs, Suneel has the experience to fight for better jobs, better wages, and better skills for workers in his district and across America.”
Bhargava is seeking a seat for the second straight election cycle. In 2016, she was hoping to win a state representative seat in Connecticut's 151st District, but fell by 20 points to incumbent Republican Fred Camillo.
Initially for 2018, she was hoping to run for governor in the state, but later dropped out to run for treasurer (see India-West article here).
“Trump’s anti-diversity administration threatens to reverse decades of progress made to protect and empower minorities and immigrants. It’s more important than ever that candidates with diverse backgrounds run for office and I am inspired by the mission of the Indian American Impact Fund,” Bhargava said. “I am honored to have their support and pledge to continue fighting for our American values, and to use my experience in finance to protect working families of all backgrounds.”
Bhargava, the former vice chair of the state Democratic Party, will be running against John Blankley in hopes of filling the seat being vacated by Denise Nappier.
“Throughout her life and career, Dita has demonstrated the kind of tenacity and determination that we deserve in our elected officials,” said Raj. “With a distinguished finance career under her belt, she also has the experience and fresh thinking to help tackle Connecticut’s economic challenges.”
The Canadian-born Bhargava moved to the U.S. in 2004 and has called Connecticut her home since 2007.
Her last private sector job was with RBS, but she also worked as a Wall Street trader and portfolio manager at Bear Stearns, Citadel Investment Group, Citigroup, Credit Suisse, and Dillon Read Capital Management.
“Despite the record number of women running for office, Dita is the only Indian American woman running for statewide office in the entire country,” added Goyle. “We are proud to join EMILY’s List and other organizations in supporting her candidacy and are confident her campaign, and election this November, will inspire countless other Indian American women to run for office.”
A political action committee, Impact Fund works with experienced operatives, campaign strategists and donors to endorse candidates based on their viability and commitment to advocating for the needs and values of the Indian American community.