Prominent members of the Indian-American community in New Jersey held a fundraiser Jan. 22 for gubernatorial candidate Phil Murphy in Colonia. Murphy, who was recently the United States Ambassador to Germany under the Obama Administration and an executive at Goldman Sachs, declared his candidacy in 2016. Murphy is viewed as the likely Democratic nominee for the position, and has been endorsed by a number of business, labor and community groups, as well as each of the 21 democratic county chairs throughout the state, organizers said in a press release.
The event was held at the home of Jagdish Patel here. Patel is an entrepreneur, and a current trustee and past president of the Federation of Indian Associations (FIA). Other co-chairs of the event were Prakash Shah, former chair of the New Jersey Development Authority and an appointee of President Clinton on the Southern Africa Enterprise Development Fund Board of Directors, and attorney Rajiv D. Parikh, Esq., a partner at Genova Burns LLC and General Counsel to the New Democratic State Committee.
Murphy spoke at length about his commitment to renewing the economic growth within New Jersey and ensuring that all residents are treated fairly in every way. He also discussed his many visits to India during his life in business and public service. He recognized that South Asians are one of the fastest growing ethnic groups in New Jersey, and a group that contributes to the economy, education and culture of the state, the press release said.
In his speech, Jagdish Patel noted that he was “honored” to host Murphy in his home and “proud to support a candidate that was committed to growing economic opportunities in the state.” In introducing Murphy to the group, Shah called him the most qualified candidate to lead New Jersey after eight years of a lack of growth under Chris Christie’s Republican administration.
Following the event, Rajiv Parikh discussed Murphy and his team’s vision for improving life and creating equality for all residents. “Ambassador Murphy’s energy, enthusiasm and progressive values are exactly what we need to improve things for our families, friends and communities,” he said.
Also in attendance were Assemblyman Raj Mukerjhi from Jersey City, and Essex County Freeholder Brendan Gill, who also serves as the chief executive of Murphy’s gubernatorial campaign.
Assemblyman Mukerjhi noted Murphy’s support of the South Asian community around New Jersey and the country, and discussed Murphy’s own personal commitment to many of the same cultural values that are prevalent in the South Asian community, including family, education and hard work.
Speaking at the event, Dr. Sudhir Parikh, publisher of Desi Talk and recipient of India’s Padma Shri award, noted that he “has a lot of faith in what Ambassador Murphy can do for New Jersey and the community after failures of the Christie administration.”
TV Asia Chairman H.R. Shah urged Mr. Murphy to ensure that his administration looks at all issues, including disproportionate revenue sharing for lottery vendors, many of whom are from the community.
Ramesh Patel, in his role as chairman of FIA extended an invitation to Murphy to march in FIA’s annual India Day Parade in New York City,for which Murphy expressed his gratitude and interest, the press release said.