Indian-American Congressional candidate in Michigan takes aim at Trump in first TV ad

Suneel Gupta, candidate for the U.S. Congress from Michigan’s District 11, with his family. He faces off Aug. 7 against two other Democrats seeking the party’s nomination in the primary. (Photo: campaign website/Facebook)

Democratic Congressional candidate Suneel Gupta, running for the Aug. 7 primaries in Michigan’s 11th District, released  his first TV campaign ad July 13, preferring to target President Donald Trump rather than his party opponents. The TV ad, entitled, “Gupta vs. Trump” highlights “just a few of the many” differences between Gupta and President Trump, his campaign said in a press release.

“In Congress, I will fight to take our country back from Donald Trump. This ad tells the story of how I’ve used innovation and technology to help solve the real health care challenges people face every day, while Donald Trump wants to cut Medicare by over $500 billion,” Gupta says in the ad which is meant to make him stand out from his Democratic opponents, Haley Stevens, a former Obama operative, and Tim Greimel, a member of the Michigan House of Representatives. Greimel emphasizes his legislative experience, and Stevens has been endorsed by the powerful Michigan Teamsters and also gained national attention running as a woman in a district that is a toss-up.

Suneel Gupta is the brother of famous CNN health correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta, featured in the candidate’s first Facebook ad.

“This first TV  ad also underscores the stark difference between me and Donald Trump when it comes to women. I am the son of a brave, first generation mother, who’s worked hard to succeed as Ford’s first female engineer. And, now, as the father of two small girls, I want women to have access to their own health care choices and to receive equal pay for equal work,” Gupta say.

The ad also tells the story of the healthcare solutions company, Rise, founded by Gupta, to showcase his experience in dealing with health care delivery. Rise matches patients with clinically trained providers, and was among the companies tapped by Michelle Obama’s White House initiative, as a result of which, Gupta was later invited to teach at Harvard University Medical School as a visiting scholar about what he created at Rise.

District 11 spans the southeastern region of Michigan, covering the counties of Oakland and Wayne. The district has been represented by Republican Congressman David Trott, who declared he was not seeking office after the end of this term.

Interestingly, in 2016, Trott was challenged by another Indian-American, Anil Kumar, who garnered an impressive 40.2 percent of the vote, shows Ballotpedia using Michigan Secretary of State data. In 2016, District 11 was considered a safe Republican seat.

Gupta was endorsed by 314 Action, a group supportive of candidates with science backgrounds. He raised the most in individual donations through the first quarter of 2018.

Gupta has a B.S. in computer programming from the University of Michigan-Dearborn, an M.B.A. from the Northwestern Kellogg School of Management, and a J.D. from Northwestern Law School. Apart from being the found and CEO of Rise, Gupta was VP of product development at Groupon, director of product development at Mozilla.




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