Indian-American Democratic Congressional Candidate Suneel Gupta, running for election in Michigan’s 11th District, released his first campaign ad on Facebook June 25. Gupta is seeking the endorsement of his party in the Aug. 7 state primaries. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) sees this as a district it could flip after incumbent Republican David Trott announced last September that he is not going to seek another term.
In an interview in late May, Gupta told Desi Talk, “I’m ahead of everyone else. In a recent straw poll, I was number one. I’ve raised more than the others. So I have all the ingredients.”
Gupta is pitted against fellow Democrats Haley Stevens, a former Obama administration official, and Tim Greimel, former State House Minority Leader. Though the Indian-American candidate has raised the most campaign funds going by the Federal Election Commission records, $934,264 in the first quarter ending March 31, Greimel has been endorsed by some high profile Democrats like Rep. Carl Levin of Michigan.
Gupta is the brother of famous CNN health correspondent Sanjay Gupta, and the two founded Rise, a healthcare solutions company that matches patients with clinically trained providers His company was First Lady Michelle Obama’s official technology partner in 2016 to provide individuals in lower income communities with care.
“In Congress, my priority will be to make quality, affordable, healthcare available to all,” Suneel Gupta said in a press release. In his ad, he says that he is the only candidate in the race with hands-on healthcare experience. Recently, Gupta also released a video in May featuring his famous brother who endorsed his candidacy, praising him for his work in the health sector.
If Gupta wins the primary Aug. 7, he will go against the Republican primary winner, who could be any of the following in the running — Kerry Bentivolio, a former U.S. representative defeated by Trott in 2014, businesswoman Lena Epstein, former Michigan House Majority Leader Rocky Raczkowski, and Michigan State Senator Mike Kowall.
Rating agencies like Cook Political Report, Sabato’s Crystal Ball, and Inside Elections see District 11 as a ‘Toss-p’ even though Donald Trump won it in 2016 and Mitt Romney in 2012, notes Ballotpedia. Barack Obama however, won it in 2008.
Gupta is the former vice president of Groupon. He holds an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management, and a JD from Northwestern Law School. Till recently, he was CEO of Rise.