Indian American Forum for Political Education holds annual candidate forum

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L-R Top Row: IAFPE Board Members- Poonam Bansal, Jewan Tiwari, Babu Vinayagam, Achhama Chandrashekhar, Prem Velayudhan, Satish Korpe, Madhusudhan, Vijay Agarwal, Manisha Singh, Avi Kanhere. Front Seating: Lieutenant Governor Dr. Ralph Northam, Delegate Ken Plum, Delegate Vivian Watts

An annual candidate forum was held recently by the Indian American Forum for Political Education at the Reston Association Center in Reston, Virginia and was largely attended by candidates running for office in the state of Virginia this November.

Attendees included Ralph Northam, the candidate for governor and the current lieutenant governor; Mark Herring, attorney general and candidate for A.G.; Justin Fairfax, candidate for L.G. and John Jagger who represented Jill Vogel, the candidate for lieutenant governor.

All candidates and surrogates shared their visions for the issues important to Virginia and their speeches were followed by a Q and A session where IAFPE board members and other attendees asked questions. Many were concerned about racial hate crimes and the lack of harmony in the community along with student loan debt, and taxes.

Questions were also raised about what some attendees saw as crumbling infrastructure of the state, the heavy toll cost on toll roads, Medicaid expansion and gun control, to which Del. Ken Plum said that he supports the practice of conducting universal background checks and conveys that specific message to the NRA on a regular basis as its headquarters are located in his district.

Apart from Plum, other members of the Virginia House of Delegates and candidates running for those offices at the forum, included Dels. Jennifer Boysco, John Bell, Richard Anderson, Vivian Watts; and candidates for delegate Lolita Macheno-Smoak, Kathy Tran and Kerrie Delaney. The forum’s sponsors at the event included former president of IAFPE Sampath Krishnan, Sant Gupta, Shekar Narasimhan, Ram Singh, Poonam Bansal, Regina Gahunia, Satish Korpe, Vijay Agarwal and Manisha Singh, the current president of IAFPE.

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