Indian American business consultant Puneet Ahluwalia is running for the Republican nomination for Lt. Governor of Virginia saying the state needs a new leadership to attract investment, jobs, growth and wealth.
“Virginia is in trouble right now, and we’re running out of time as Democrats offer the same old tired promises,” said the 55-year-old resident of McLean in a note to his supporters announcing his run. “Virginia needs new ideas and a business environment that will attract investment, jobs, growth and wealth. Virginia needs to support its hard-working and courageous police, protect 2nd Amendment rights, and stand up for law and order,” Ahluwalia added.
The state of Virginia holds off-year elections. The primary for this position falls on June 22, 2021, and if Ahluwalia wins the party’s endorsement, he would be pitted against a Democrat for the Nov. 2, 2021 elections.
The position of Lieutenant Governor fell vacant when incumbent Democrat Justin Fairfax decided to run for Governor of Virginia instead of seeking a second term as Lt. Gov.
Ahluwalia faces a tough battle as several Republicans are are already lined up early in the process, vying for the party’s nomination including Virginia Delegate Glenn Davis, former Delegate Tim Hugo, and U.S. Air Force veteran Lance Allen, according to a Richmond.com news report.
And several Democrats are seeking their party’s endorsement.
A Delhi Public School (DPS) alumnus, who immigrated to the U.S. in 1990, Ahluwalia serves as a consultant to international businesses on client acquisition, marketing, and strategic affairs with The Livingston Group.
Ahluwalia told News India Times his campaign was going “really well”.
“We launched the Political Action Committee (PAC) just two months ago. We have an important role to play in the government as we bring to the surface matters like racial discrimination, education, and the large growing South Asian population in Virginia, ” Ahluwalia said.
“We have a lot of volunteers from friends to family in the campaign. We need around $1.5 million to become a nominee and anywhere around $7-8 million to win the election,” he added.
Emphasizing that he is not a politician, Ahluwalia said, “I am a proud American living the American dream. My first job was delivering electronics to retail stores and since then I have built businesses and created jobs and opportunities for others,” he maintained.
Even though not a politician in the strict sense of the term, Ahluwalia has been active in the Republican Party for more than two decades. He currently serves on the Northern Virginia Republican Business Forum. He is also chairman of the Proud American Political Action Committee which aims at supporting Republicans seeking office.
“My fellow Indian American friends have been actively participating in the campaign,” he said. The former chief of staff to the governor of Maryland, Sam Malhotra has helped Ahluwalia raise funds, he said. “Friends from the community have been calling to tell me they are hosting fundraisers for me. Sunil Singh, who is a prominent leader in Virginia, has also been a great supporter,” Ahluwalia told News India Times.
“I ask the vibrant South Asian community to donate their one day’s lunch money; anywhere from $25 to $100 to my campaign to show we are here and active,” Ahluwalia appealed.