We are seeing the Rishi Kumar lawn signs. Since he is challenging Anna Eshoo for the 2nd straight general election, I decided to look into this candidate for Congress, after winning the June primary against six candidates. I recently went to his campaign kick-off event. Turns out he’s a mechanical engineer, tech executive, and a 2nd term Saratoga Councilmember who was elected with the highest votes in 64 years of his city. Why is Rishi doing so well against Anna Eshoo, at 79 years old, a 30 year incumbent with 48 years in public service, when she had routinely dominated her elections by 72%? The answer soon became obvious. He is not a career politician, but has pragmatic ideas to solve everyday problems. And he fights for the people. Watching the “Pass the Torch” video playing on Rishi Kumar’s home page—the consistent words that were used to describe Rishi—Energy, Getting Things Done, Integrity, People-Centric agenda. Looking at the polling results page, I find it interesting that Eshoo’s primary election percentage is almost always the same as her general election. Her June primary vote tally was only 48%, a big drop from 72%.
Rishi is not running for Congress to perpetuate the status quo. Far from it. He wants to apply his tech savvy to better serve the constituents in his district, which includes Silicon Valley. Eshoo was first elected to Congress in 1992, before the internet was a thing. She is part of the system that takes care of their own, receiving campaign money from Pharma lobbyists and defense weapons manufacturers. She never needed to run a real campaign or spend campaign money in the past, but she has spent $1.14 million in the recent June primary election to garner her career low 48%. In Rishi, she finally has a real challenger. The downward trend has continued, now at a mere 35% voter support based on polling conducted by Rishi Kumar’s team and Rishi her only November opponent with no Republicans on the ballot.
Rishi has outworked her, he and his team have knocked on some 200,000 doors, listening to residents from San Jose to Pacifica. Eshoo hasn’t stepped foot in some of these cities and towns for a long time, preferring to run her tele-conference calls for decades. She now finds herself in a position against a tenacious challenger—one she has never faced before.
Rishi is an elected leader and community activist who has a track record of getting things done, reducing burglaries by 50% in Saratoga, defeating several San Jose Water Company rate hikes, challenging PG&E’s gutting of California’s solar program, stopped a road repair tax, and is a good steward of the environment, both in the South Bay and the Coast. He is a supporter of Medicare for All and legislating Pro-Choice. He rejects special interest money and influence. He has a track record of fighting for seniors.
This November the choice is between a professional politician whose main accomplishment is longevity with few bills introduced and passed by Eshoo, or a dynamic, tech savvy candidate who is not part of the political machine, but rather a genuine force for change who is truly a representative of the people. His passion and activist roots are what we need. It’s time to pass the torch.
Vote for Rishi Kumar for Congress!
Jeff Regan of Moss Beach