An Indian American public accountant is running for a Senate seat in Nevada by employing a non-conventional anti-corruption campaign which promises to get “dirty money” out of politics, writes Lalit K. Jha. (@Siliconeer, #Siliconeer, #BobbyMahendra)
Bobby Mahendra is pinning his hope on the grass-roots campaign he built to replace Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, 76, who has held the position uninterrupted since 1987.
Mahendra, 42, claimed he had “achieved the real front runner status” by building a grassroots campaign on Facebook and, unlike other candidates, has not taken a single penny from corrupt sources.
“I am the most-liked politician (on Facebook) in the State of Nevada. One of my main goal is to help get dirty money out of politics,” Mahendra told PTI.
“I always wanted to be able to give back to the community through service to country, and I knew that I would run for office one day; however, I never expected it to be right now! I looked at the candidates that were offered on the political landscape, and I didn’t feel that any candidate offered what I wanted,” Mahendra said.
Mahendra is pitted against three other candidates including the front-runner Catherine Cortez Masto, the former Attorney General of Nevada, in the Democratic primary seat vacated Reid.
Reid, who is not seeking a re-election, has endorsed Masto to replace him.
The State primary is scheduled on June 14 and the general elections on November 8.
“I wanted a politician that would stand for the anti-corruption movement (ie No Money in Politics), that was socially liberal, but fiscally conservative! Eventually I realized that it’s better to be part of the solution than to be part of the problem by complaining all the time,” he said.
Mahendra now has 21,000 supporters on his Facebook page as against less than 15,000 of Masto. Republican Senate race frontrunner Congressman Joe Heck has less than 17,000.
Mahendra, who has lived in Las Vegas since 2011, said he is running a non-conventional campaign and hopes this would yield results in the June primaries.
He is using his Facebook page as a discussion board, wherein he says he addresses Nevadans directly by posting personal responses to complex political topics that politicians deflect with the established “non-answers.”
“Immediately after the release of the Panama Papers corruption scandal, which includes politicians, celebrities, and extremely rich people from all across the world our campaign literally took off as frustration with the political process is now at a breaking point,” Mahendra said.
He alleged Masto and Heck were only frontrunners in raising money from corrupt special Interests, super PACs, and Corporate America with each raising over $5 million.
“Without corruption we can easily grow America with new leadership from Nevada. Socially liberal, but fiscally conservative,” he said.