On April 15, Dr. Pritesh Gandhi testified before the Texas state legislature in support of paid leave for workers. The same day, Gandhi who is running for the U.S. Congress from District 10, sent in his first financial report to the Federal Election Commission.
“No working mother or father should have to send their child to school sick out of fear of losing their job. TX families deserve better,” Gandhi, a primary care doctor at a community health center, tweeted after the hearing.
His FEC report covers the 27 days between announcing his campaign and the March 31 deadline. Dr. Gandhi, who is not taking corporate donations, reported receiving $162,380.26, spending $5,320.88, and holding $157,059.38 cash on hand.
“I am incredibly grateful for this early show of faith and support for our campaign from so many across the state of Texas and TX-10. We are raising the resources to support a value-based, solutions-driven campaign against Congressman McCaul,’ Gandhi said following the FEC filing. Rep. Michael McCaul is the incumbent Republican in Congress from District 10.
According to his campaign, Dr. Gandhi’s first quarter fundraising total “is greater than the combined fundraising total of all Democratic candidates in the 2018 TX-10 Democratic Primary election, and almost double the collective fundraising total of TX-10 Democratic nominees in the 2010, 2012, 2014, and 2016 election cycles.”
Needless to note, he is a strong supporter of Indian-American Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal’s Medicare For All legislative initiative as well. Gandhi could join her on Capitol Hill in 2020, but that’s if he survives the March 2020 Democratic primary and then the general election in November against a strong Republican incumbent.
Gandhi is contesting a tough seat – District 10 in Texas, which covers the northwestern portion of the Greater Houston region up to the Greater Austin area, covering counties of Austin, Colorado, Fayette, Waller, and Washington. It is not a multiracial district with more than 75 percent of the population being white, around 10 percent black, with some 5 percent being of Asian origin, according to Ballotpedia.
But it is one that the Democrats have targeted for flipping. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee thisApril 12, announced the opening of a new headquarters in Austin. It also said it was targeting six Republican seats, among them Gandhi’s.
In a poll it conducted, the DCCC said Districts – 10, 21, and 24 showed President Trump’s approval rating “is underwater in all three …”
“Make no mistake about it, Democrats are going on offense in 2020 and there’s no place where we have more opportunities than Texas. The DCCC is making this early aggressive move because we know that the best defense is a strong offense and we are committed to fortifying and expanding our new Democratic Majority,” the DCCC Communications Director Jared Smith is quoted saying in the press release.
But that does not assure Gandhi’s standing, as he has to fight a battle closer to home, his own party contenders, among them Mike Siegel, an attorney and civil rights activist, who won a whopping 70 percent of the Democratic vote in the last party primaries, and secured nearly 47 percent of the vote in the 2018 races losing to Rep. McCaul.
In East Austin, Gandhi’s community health center serves many uninsured and underserved families, according to his press release. His message conveys his goal is to be their champion and their voice on Capitol Hill were he to be elected.
Dr. Gandhi is a Fulbright scholar, National Health Service Corps Scholar, and most recently was selected as a Presidential Leadership Scholar. He received an undergraduate degree in International Relations and Economics from Tufts University as well as a Master of Public Health and Medical Degree from Tufts University School of Medicine. He has studied at The London School of Economics and at Johns Hopkins University.
He has testified before the Texas Senate and House Committees on Public Health, organized multiple rallies – most recently in Tornillo in support of keeping migrant families together, and regularly lectures on topics such as poverty, inequity, and social determinants of health.
Gandhi lives in Austin with his wife Monisha and their three children, one of them born just this April 10.