July 24, 2020

For Immediate Release

Communications Director: Jack Doyle

TX-22 Frontrunner Kulkarni Garnering National Attention and Praise

Campaign gets upgraded by two major publications while gaining recognition for its innovative voter outreach

Sugar Land, TX — After a record-breaking Q2 and facing a severely flawed and underfunded opponent in fired cop Troy Nehls, Sri Preston Kulkarni’s campaign continues to generate momentum and is cementing its place as a top Democratic campaign in the 2020 cycle.

In the latest iteration of its nationally-recognized House Power Rankings, National Journal now rates TX-22 as the sixth most likely race to flip in the nation this cycle, rocketing up from the #20 spot back in March. The new rating marks the biggest rise for any campaign in the rankings. National Journal’s outlook on the race below:

6. Texas’s 22nd District: Open (R) ↑: Democrats think nominee Sri Preston Kulkarni is the perfect candidate to flip this open seat and Fort Bend County Sheriff Troy Nehls is too conservative for the Houston suburbs. Nehls emerged from the GOP primary low on funds after Kathaleen Wall spent more than $8 million, largely on a series of ads against Nehls that claimed he “did not take sex trafficking seriously” as sheriff. Strategists on both sides of the aisle said those ads were effective and could carry over to the general election. Kulkarni spent the extended runoff amassing a $1.2 million war chest, while Nehls entered the general election with $30,000 on hand.

The recognition came hours after Daily Kos joined fellow election forecasters in upgrading TX-22 in Kulkarni’s favor, identifying the race as one of the top toss-up races in the country.

On Tuesday, USA Today featured the Kulkarni campaign’s innovative efforts to engage wide swaths of diverse voters, even without traditional field efforts due to the COVID-19 crisis. In leveraging relational organizing, the campaign’s large-and-growing volunteer team reflects the diversity of the district and is reaching voters in a remarkable 21 different languages.

A recent Texas Tribune piece also spotlighted how the Kulkarni campaign is using its next-level approach to connect with Texas’s previously untapped and growing South Asian constituency. In targeting the district, national Democrats have even released the organization’s first ever ads in Hindi and Chinese, ensuring that more voters will have the opportunity to learn about Fired Cop Troy Nehls’ long history of scandals and controversy. 

Kulkarni’s 2018 campaign was cited as one of the most innovative grassroots efforts in the country, and in 2020, the operation has only continued to grow. 

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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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