Indian-American Democrat throws hat in race for governor of Connecticut

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Mudita ‘Dita’ Bhargava (Courtesy: CBIA)

Connecticut state lawmaker Prasad Srinivasan, a Republican running for governor of Connecticut, has been joined by another Indian-American, Mudita ‘Dita’ Bhargava, a Democrat, vying for the same office in the 2018 election.

According to news reports, Bhargava is currently the vice chair of the Connecticut Democratic Party and a former Wall Street banker as well as the only woman seeking the state’s top-job to date.

She has raised more than $53,000 since she announced her candidacy less than 3 weeks ago.

“I want to bring to the state, ideas that need to be implemented immediately especially in the areas of good-paying jobs and a thriving business sector,” she told the Greenwich Free Press.

“I am a different kind of Democrat and why — because I’ve not been a politician and I am a pro-business progressive. And, if we don’t put a different kind of Democrat in the general election, it’s going to be very difficult for us to win. Now, there is too much at stake for our state to turn into a red state. I am very focused on making sure that we keep it a Democratic state,” she added.

Bhargava claims that her experience as a Wall Street banker and her business expertise is what makes her a good candidate.

“I have more than two decades of financial sector experience. It took courage, perseverance and hard work to break down barriers and be successful as an ethnic woman in a male dominated field,” Bhargava told the Greenwich Free Press “I plan to bring that same tenacity to help our state overcome its current challenges,” she adds.

Bhargava also told the Greenwich Free Press that she wants to see both the tax base and the industry base expand, “so, I want to make sure that the businesses that are here — the small and large businesses —especially the small businesses because they employ more than 90 percent of our population across the country, feel empowered to stay and continue to do business in Connecticut. And, I want to attract new businesses and new industries to the state.”

Bhargava was born and brought up in Ontario, Canada; she grew up with two sisters and was raised by a single mother after her parents divorced.

She has a degree in electrical engineering from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario and they moved to the United States where she became a citizen in 2004. She moved from New York to Connecticut in 2007 after getting married to Dan Pelletier. The couple has two children, Arya, 8, and Kalyan, 7.

Bhargava has worked with the Royal Bank of Scotland in New York and also worked as a Wall Street trader as well as a portfolio manager at Bear Stearns, Citadel Investment Group, Citigroup, Credit Suisse and Dillon Read Capital Management.

She has reached out to the Indian-American community and says she wears her heritage on her sleeve. In an interview with a leading daily, Bhargava said, “About 3 percent of Connecticut’s population is Asian, and I am a very proud Indian-American and am quite close to the South Asian Community in Connecticut.” Bhargava who made an unsuccessful run for the state assembly also said she co-founded India Cultural Center of Greenwich 5 years ago and that the Indian-American community had donated “a good portion” of what she has raised so far, a leading daily reported.

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