Mother Jones: If This Texas District Goes Blue on Tuesday, Look Out
November 2 – This year things are different. Olson’s opponent is Sri Preston Kulkarni, a Houston native who served for 14 years in the State Department’s foreign service. His father was an Indian immigrant; his mother is descended from Sam Houston, the hero of the Texas revolution. He’s fluent in six languages and has raised more money than each of Olson’s four previous opponents combined. Since early September, the Cook Political Report has moved the seat from “safe Republican” to “likely Republican” to “leans Republican,” without a single public poll of the race.
Vox: A Texas Democrat’s radical experiment in turning out Asian-American voters could become a model for the party
October 30 – But if Kulkarni has figured out how to crack the code in TX-22, that could be good for Democrats’ future electoral chances, especially in rapidly diversifying suburban districts.
The Texas Democratic Party and other issues-based progressive campaigns have been reaching out to Kulkarni to learn more about his strategy.
“We think that’s exactly what other candidates and the party should be doing,” said María Urbina, the national political director for Indivisible. “They’re redefining what it means to engage with voters where they are.”
October 30 – Political candidates don’t usually stray too far from the traditional campaign strategies of their respective parties. When they do, it’s worth paying attention. That’s why Beto O’Rourke’s Senate campaign has fascinated so many. It’s also why you should pay attention to Sri Preston Kulkarni and his bid to flip a Republican district in the heart of Houston suburbia.
October 29 – Rep. Pete Olson, a Texas Republican in a tough re-election battle, would not explain to a constituent why he recently called his Democratic opponent an “Indo-American carpetbagger.”
October 29 – Kulkarni, a former diplomat, is part of a group of emerging Democratic candidates who are defying electoral odds by reaching out to people who haven’t voted in the past. A key part of their strategy is using their multicultural background to reach elusive minority voters.
Dallas Morning News: Houston-area congressional race heating up between Rep. Pete Olson and Sri Preston Kulkarni
October 23 – Another Texas congressional race has been moved into the competitive category: the 22nd Congressional District race in suburban Houston between incumbent Republican Pete Olson and Democratic challenger Sri Preston Kulkarni.
Houston Chronicle: Democrat Kulkarni up with TV ads in Houston in bid to unseat Rep. Pete Olson
October 19 – Democrat Sri Preston Kulkarni is continuing to put pressure on U.S. Rep. Pete Olson in what has fast become one of the most competitive races for Congress in Texas.
The Intercept: Texas Candidate's Radical Approach to Turning Out Asian American Non-Voters: Talking to Them (In 13 Different Languages)
October 17 – If Kulkarni succeeds, his tactics will become a model for how to target communities that historically don’t vote, primarily because nobody has ever tried to engage them in politics.
Houston Chronicle: For the 22nd Congressional District: Sri Preston Kulkarni
October 12 – First-time candidate Sri Preston Kulkarni, 40, wowed the editorial board with his knowledge, eloquence and robust resume that included time working in the U.S. Senate and 14 years as a State Department foreign service officer that took him all over the globe. That experience only emphasized to Kulkarni the value of American ideals, he told the editorial board, which sit at the core of his campaign. He’s running an optimistic, forward-looking effort that aims to combat the tribalism ripping apart our nation with a renewed sense of decency. That’s also why he’s not accepting corporate donations.
October 12 – America's suburbs are changing.
That's readily apparent mere steps into Sri Preston Kulkarni's campaign office outside Houston, where notebooks on a table near the elevator read "Kannada Households," "Bengali Households" and "Hindi Households."
October 9 – Houston-area Democrat Sri Preston Kulkarni is the sixth Democratic challenger in Texas to top $1 million in campaign contributions as he attempts to ride the blue wave in his race against five-term Republican U.S. Rep. Pete Olson.
September 20 – To attract Indian-American voters, a Republican party group in suburban Houston released a campaign ad with an image of Ganesha, the elephant-headed Hindu deity.
Published in the India Herald newspaper and sponsored by the Fort Bend County Republican Party, the ad played on the animal symbols for the Democratic and Republican parties. It read: "Would you worship a donkey or an elephant? The choice is yours."
The ad was published on September 12, a day before the start of Ganesh Chaturthi, a 10-day Hindu festival which celebrates the birth of Ganesha.
Texas Tribune: How Democrats in Texas are trying to win over one of America’s most ethnically diverse counties
May 17 – At a glance, volunteers at Sri Kulkarni's campaign headquarters are no different than those for congressional campaigns across the country — huddling over laptops, tapping voters' numbers into their cell phones and concentrating on the call scripts in front of them.
But when the person on the other end of the line picks up, some volunteers greet them not in English but in Vietnamese, Hindi, Urdu or Mandarin Chinese.
For Kulkarni, a Democrat vying for a congressional seat in a Republican-leaning district, getting his message out to voters means not just knocking on doors and calling voters but also speaking the language they speak.
September 5 – Sugar Land has all the trappings of American suburbia: upscale outdoor shopping centers, immaculate oak tree-lined streets, country clubs and sprawling subdivisions. But it also has something that is becoming more typically associated with suburbia: religious and ethnic diversity. Driving north on a short stretch of Brand Lane, which sits along the border between Sugar Land and Stafford, Texas, you first see the pristine Shri Swaminarayan Mandir Hindu temple, its white marble gleaming in the August sun. Next, an Anglo church, followed soon by a South Indian church. And then, the bustling Masjid Al-Sabireen Islamic Center, where a constant stream of cars, pickup trucks and minivans pull into an overflowing parking lot for Friday afternoon prayer.
News India Times: In Texas, Indian American Sri Preston Kulkarni to run for Congress
January 12 – Indian American Democrat Sri Preston Kulkarni, 39, is looking to run for Congress this year in Texas’ 22nd Congressional district against Republican Congressman Pete Olson.
Kulkarni served as a Foreign Service Officer for 14 years during which he toured Iraq, Israel, Russia, Taiwan, and Jamaica, and now he has come back to serve the country on the home front.