For Immediate Release

Communications Director: Jack Doyle

RATINGS CHANGE: Inside Elections Shifts TX-22 to ‘Toss-up’

TX-22 now labeled a toss-up by all leading national election forecasters

Tomorrow: One year anniversary of Kulkarni forcing Pete Olson into retirement

Sugar Land, TX — Leading election forecaster Inside Elections has joined Cook Political Report, Sabato’s Crystal Ball, Politico and Daily Kos in shifting their forecast in Sri’s favor to deem TX-22 one of the top tossup races in the country.

Inside Elections cited Republicans’ increased toxicity to surban voters and Kulkarni’s strength as a candidate in explaining the shift:

“Kulkarni is significantly outpacing his 2018 fundraising — by March 31 of this year he’d already matched his total for the 2018 cycle — and he admitted his campaign is leagues more organized than last time. He also has a slew of major Democratic endorsements and avoided a runoff in his primary. It took a runoff to settle the GOP race, but now the stage is set for Kulkarni to face  Ft. Bend County Sheriff Troy Nehls (who reported just $29,000 in the bank on June 30, compared to Kulkarni’s $1.2 million) in the general election.

This update just reaffirms a consensus that has been building for months: Sri Preston Kulkarni is the frontrunner in one of the country’s biggest congressional races thanks to his ability to generate enthusiasm, reach new voters, and appeal to abandoned Republican moderates.

Republicans have done all they can to help this effort, nominating Fired Cop Troy Nehls who enters the general election badly damaged from one of the most gruesome primary fights Texas has ever seen and who has demonstrated no ability to raise the money needed to compete in this race. 

For more on Inside Elections impression on Sri, see below:

Inside Elections: Candidate Conversation: Sri Preston Kulkarni (D)

By Nathan Gonzales and Jacob Rubashkin

July 24, 2020

Texas’ 22nd District — Rating: Toss-Up

Interview Date: June 24, 2020 (via Google Meet)

Date of Birth: October 6, 1978; Ruston, La.

Education: Univ. of Texas, Austin (2002); Harvard (MPA, 2017)

Elected Office: None; 2018 Democratic nominee for the 22nd District

Current Outlook: Kulkarni came up 5 points shy of retiring GOP Rep. Pete Olson in 2018, and now he’ll get a shot at the open seat in this Houston-area district, the fastest-growing in the nation. Kulkarni is significantly outpacing his 2018 fundraising — by March 31 of this year he’d already matched his total for the 2018 cycle — and he admitted his campaign is leagues more organized than last time. He also has a slew of major Democratic endorsements and avoided a runoff in his primary. It took a runoff to settle the GOP race, but now the stage is set for Kulkarni to face  Ft. Bend County Sheriff Troy Nehls (who reported just $29,000 in the bank on June 30, compared to Kulkarni’s $1.2 million) in the general election.

Evaluation: Kulkarni was engaging, energetic, and quick with a dad joke. A 14-year veteran of the US Foreign Service who resigned in protest in 2017, he speaks at least a half-dozen languages, many of which he uses on the campaign trail in this diverse district. He’s confident in his messaging and in the leftward movement of  this district. Kulkarni is diplomatic about where he stands in the Democratic Party — he stayed out of the presidential primary despite having worked for one of the candidates, New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, and he’s been endorsed by the Blue Dog PAC, as well as more liberal groups such as End Citizens United and J Street. As President Donald Trump continues to struggle in the suburbs, Kulkarni and candidates like him will be in a strong position to increase the Democratic majority even further.

###

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.

en_USEnglish
es_MXSpanish zh_CNChinese viVietnamese ko_KRKorean en_USEnglish