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Texas congressional candidate Pritesh Gandhi raises record funds ahead of July 14 runoff primary

This campaign photo depicts Dr. Pritesh Gandhi with his family.

Indian American physician Dr. Pritesh Gandhi announced his campaign has raised more than $1.26 million ahead of the July 14 runoff primary election, according to New India Times

Gandhi, who is running in the Democratic primary for 10th Congressional District of Texas against Mike Siegel, is a primary care physician based in Austin. The Democratic newcomer’s key platforms include “effective community policing,” healthcare, housing and education. 

If elected to represent the Democrats, Gandhi will be running a campaign in a district that has remained Republican for more than 10 years.

The Austin American-Statesman reported in late June that Sen. Kamala Harris endorsed Gandhi, praising his work treating patients during the COVID-19 pandemic while seeking the congressional seat. Harris wrote she knows he will fight for systematic reform in criminal justice and healthcare.

“Dr. Gandhi is a progressive fighter who can win,” Harris statement read. “I’m proud to support his campaign and look forward to helping him flip the 10th District from red-to-blue in November.”

According to Gandhi for Texas, the campaign has raised almost three times more than what Siegal raised in the entirety of his 2018 campaign. 

“I’m so proud that our campaign continues to gain momentum,” Gandhi said. “We have built the financial resources and assembled a coalition of partners, like Planned Parenthood Action Fund and Giffords, to flip this district from red-to-blue.”

Kyle Buda, Gandhi’s campaign manager reminded the New India Times that Siegal “failed to raise the resources needed to win” in 2018 against incumbent Congressman Michael McCaul (TX-10). 

“We cannot afford to make that mistake again,” Buda said. 

However, Siegel lost the 2018 midterm election by only a 4% margin, which makes 2020 a “battleground race,” according to KUT, Austin’s NPR station. And in his interview with KUT, Siegel pointed out the Democrats are running in a district that favored Beto O’Rourke over incumbent Republican Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) in the 2018 senatorial race. 

Siegel has also been endorsed by Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT). 

In the March 3 primary election, Siegel won by a margin of 11 over Gandhi at 43% and 33% respectively, triggering a runoff election, according to New India Times.

Even though the runofff primary was to be held in May, Gov. Greg Abbott issued a delay due to COVID-19 concerns, the Texas Tribune reports. Early voting for the runoff primary election commenced in late June, with 35 congressional, legislative and state board nominations on the ballot.

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