October 19, 2020

For Immediate Release

Communications Director: Jack Doyle

Kulkarni Joins MSNBC’s AM Joy to Talk Texas Voter Suppression

Kulkarni discusses the Greater Houston area’s historic voter turnout and TX-22 as ground zero for flipping Texas

Sugar Land, TX — On Saturday, Sri Preston Kulkarni, the Democratic nominee for Texas’s 22nd Congressional District, appeared on national cable television on MSNBC’s AM JOY for a panel discussion on voter suppression in the 2020 election. 

Kulkarni highlights how his campaign is overcoming voter suppression efforts by utilizing innovative and unprecedented grassroots efforts to expand the electorate in a district that will be crucial to flipping Texas blue.

KULKARNI: “We are now campaigning in 27 different languages, which has never been done in Texas or American history, the result of that in 2018 was that we got 30,000 new people to come out to vote who hadn’t voted for president. Since then, we held a voter registration conference and we’ve had 63,000 new registrations since 2018 which is more than one quarter of the entire margin for the state of Texas two years ago.” (1:48)

Watch the full interview here

A few key moments from the interview: 

  • As a Foreign Service Officer who served overseas in some of the most dangerous places in the world, I’ve seen what happens to democratic institutions when they get attacked and the importance of fighting for them. So the best way to fight all these forms of voter suppression whether it’s reducing ballot boxes, whether it’s reducing days of voting, whether it’s attacking our right to vote by mail is to come out in numbers so large they cannot be manipulated. (0:51)
  • When we started this campaign, we were told don’t bother with immigrants because they don’t vote and the easiest way to lose an election is to talk to people who don’t vote. And we said, maybe they don’t vote because we don’t bother. The easiest way to never get change is to keep doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. (1:22)
  • Texas already is a battleground state, if you look at the people who were not voting. Because, we always say Texas isn’t a red or a blue state, it’s a non-voting state. Well that’s just changed this year. (2:41)
  • The margins statewide are smaller than they were in 2018, when only 214,000 votes separated Democrats and Republicans. Our district has about 200,000 more people than the average Congressional district alone, so if we flip Texas blue in 2020, it’s going to start from Texas 22. (3:07)

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Sri Preston Kulkarni is the son of an Indian immigrant father and a mother whose family descends from Sam Houston. Kulkarni is a former Foreign Service Officer who served fourteen years overseas in places like Iraq, Russia, and Jerusalem, and as a former Defense, Foreign Policy and Veteran Affairs Advisor to Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) before deciding to leave the foreign service and return home to run for Congress in 2018.

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