Indian-American Ashwani Jain Launches Bid for Maryland Governor

“Voices like mine are growing in Maryland and deserve to be heard,” said the aspiring Indian-American governor.

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With a focus on representation, “elective experience is not the only kind of experience that matters”, Jain argued.
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Indian-American Ashwani Jain aspires to be the first millennial governor, and Maryland's first governor of colour.

An aspiring Indian-American politico, Jain held multiple posts in the Obama Administration and plans to seek the Democratic nomination for Maryland governor next year. His focus will be a generational appeal for votes.

Thirty-one-year-old Jain hails from the ultra-wealthy enclave of Potomac. He is the son of Indian immigrants who own and operate a small business.

“I understand that some will say that this overly ambitious, eager millennial with a baby face and no elected experience is not qualified or ready for this position,” Jain said in a campaign video. But, “elective experience is not the only kind of experience that matters,” he argued.

A Focus on Representation

“In a state that’s becoming younger and more diverse than ever before, voices like mine are growing in Maryland and deserve to be heard, because decisions made about us should not be made without us,” Jain asserted in the video, speaking of the state he plans to run in.

The Indian-American said he’s running for “two main reasons”: making state government “more representative, transparent, and accountable” and focusing his time on a “Relief, Recovery and Reform” agenda.

A Cancer Survivor

A childhood cancer survivor, Jain worked at the White House and in the Department of Health and Human Services under the Obama Administration.

Jain also served as director of outreach for the administration’s “cancer moonshot,” which was headed by then-vice president Joe Biden.

“I turned from survivor to advocate, I found my purpose in public service", he said, speaking of his experience in the hospital, watching very unwell young children reel with illness and their parents suffer deep financial distress.

A Brief Policy Overview

On his policy platform, Jain has a huge focus around “banning corruption” in state government.

“The Governor, Lt Governor and agency heads from owning stocks or serving on for-profit corporate boards while in office” as well as implementing a “4-year lobbying ban for the Governor, Lt Governor and agency heads from becoming corporate lobbyists after they leave their positions,” Jain says.

Taking a stance on criminal justice and policing reforms, Jain has also said if elected, he would reallocate public safety funds “to expand necessary services” that would reduce the need for police officers “to respond to incidents with mentally ill individuals or incidents involving “ongoing social work issues.”

A son of immigrants, Jain has also spoken of his immigration policy. As governor, if elected, he would “make it a priority to prevent police departments in the state from cooperating with ICE for non-violent offenders.” He says Maryland should only deport “undocumented foreign nationals who have committed violent crimes and pose a threat to public safety.”

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