The South Asian Times

15 November 2018 07:55 AM

Dr Vanila Singh joins contentious Silicon Valley House race

Washington, DC: Adding a new twist to the already hot Silicon Valley House race between seven-term Rep. Mike Honda against fellow Democrat Ro Khanna,  another Indian American, a Republican candidate, anesthesiologist and clinical associate professor at Stanford University’s School of Medicine Vanila Singh has jumped into the fray.

Singh officially announced her candidacy for California’s 17th Congressional District’s seat. She filed the papers for her candidacy on December 26, making her run official.
Singh, like Khanna, is an Indian American from Fremont. But unlike Khanna, a former Obama administration trade representative, she has no government experience and has never run for political office.

Singh took a prominent role in supporting Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, the first Hindu member of the House — to whom she donated $1,001.

Observers believe the entry of even an unknown Republican could have an effect in the South Bay race.

The effect could come courtesy of California’s “top two” primary system, under which the first- and second-place finishers in June advance to the November general election, regardless of party. In a district with a heavy Indian American presence, Singh could combine support from Republicans, women and Indian Americans to come in at No. 2.

She was approached by party leaders last fall to consider running, saying that the outcome of California’s 17th District would be one of the 10 most contentious and politically game-changing elections in 2014.

Singh and her supporters are quick to point out that she is not simply running a “pro-India” platform to win the seat. As a Republican, a large part of her agenda will be to fight against the Affordable Care Act, more commonly known as Obamacare. 

As a physician, Singh believes that the law simply doesn’t work largely because doctors themselves weren’t even consulted when it was being drafted. Singh has also drawn attention to the fact that several major healthcare providers are not covered under Obamacare, and that the system itself needs either an overhaul or to be completely shut down.

Brought up in the US, Singh earned her medical degree from the George Washington University Medical School in Washington, DC. She completed her fellowship and residency at Cornell University, did her medical internship at Yale University, and was a clinical assistant professor at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) for some time as well.

Daughter of Lalit and Leela Mathur, who are co-founders of the Rajasthan Association of North America, Singh herself has also been an active member of the Indian American community. She is currently a board member of the Hindu American Foundation (HAF), and is backed by the Indian Americans for Freedom Super PAC.

Update: 17 Jan, 2014

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