DETROIT (Diya TV) — Anil Kumar, an Indian-American doctor running for U.S. Congress, is hopeful presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s surging popularity will help him enter the House of Representatives by winning a traditionally Republican seat in the suburbs of Detroit.
Born in Mumbai, the 65-year-old urologist Kumar, who specializes in robotic surgery, is giving a second go at Congress after suffering a primary defeat in 2014 during his first attempt.
Armed with the popular support from the entire South Asian base and the growing popularity of Clinton, Kumar said the latest internal polls showed that he was within the margin of error with his Republican incumbent David Trott. “No integration (of the immigrants) is complete, unless we are integrated politically,” Kumar said.
In addition to the policy of healthcare, employment and education that he is advocating for his constituents, Kumar said one of the reasons for him deciding to run for the Congress was to pave the way for the next generation of Indian-Americans to be part and parcel of the political mainstream.
“It is important that we do more in the political arena,” he said.
The 11th Congressional District of Michigan has some 400,000 voters. Indian-Americans account for some 20,000 and then there are 4,000 Pakistani-Americans who have thrown their support behind him.
His campaign began with 250 volunteers, 60 interns and a multitude of paid staffers. He also has five campaign offices spread over the sprawling suburbs of northwest Detroit.
Kumar made Detroit his home after arriving in the U.S. in 1984, he came stateside after obtaining his medical degree back home in Mumbai. “It’s a tight race. And with Clinton’s popularity gaining ground, my chances have become better,” Kumar said.
Kumar also has the support of an Indian American who previously vied for the same seat — Syed Taj, who ran once before in 2012 and lost the election by 22,000 votes, has put his support behind Kumar. His candidacy has also been endorsed by U.S. Senator Carl Levin. “He has a chance as the poll dynamics and demographics have changed,” Taj said.
Kumar said if elected, he would work towards improving the relationship between India and the U.S.
“A larger and better representation of Indian-Americans in the Congress would help strengthen the bond of India-US relationship,” he said.“Prime Minister Narendra Modi is doing a tremendous job. We (in the Congress) can further enhance it,”