WASHINGTON: In a major boost to Indian- American Neel Kashkari's bid to become California's governor, ex-Florida governor Jeb Bush and former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney endorsed him for the job.
Also endorsing Kashkari, Romney said, "Democrats' big-government policies have hurt the middle class and reduced opportunity for Americans across the country, and that's the reason it's so important to elect leaders like Neel Kashkari who understand how to jumpstart the private sector, fix our schools and get people working again."
The endorsements by Bush, brother of former U.S. president George Bush and the son of another ex-U.S. president George H W Bush, and Romney came as a shot in the arm for the Republican Indian-American.
Kashkari is slated to give a tough fight in the November elections in one of the strongest Democratic bastions. In his endorsement, Jeb Bush described Kashkari as a principled man of action and not someone who simply leads from behind.
"Fixing California is no small task, but Neel Kashkari has the vision and the drive to reject the status quo and usher in a new era of opportunity for the state's families and communities," Jeb Bush said. "Whether it's creating jobs, implementing regulatory reform or improving education for children, there is no doubt that Neel is the right leader for California," he said.
If elected in the November elections, Kashkari would be the third ever Indian-American to be elected as the governor of a U.S. state after Bobby Jindal from Louisiana and Nikki Haley from South Carolina. All three are from the Republican Party. Bush said California needs a leader who will take on bold reforms that put students first.
"Neel comes from a business background, but his passion is fostering more opportunity for California's children by empowering teachers and parents and unleashing the power of the market to create good jobs," he said.
"From his time in the private sector to his time in public service, Neel has demonstrated a unique ability to bring people together to achieve success in challenging circumstances. He is a principled man of action - not someone who simply leads from behind," Bush said.
Kashkari announced his candidacy in January with a platform focused on jobs and education. The education plan he released recently, "Transforming Our Schools To Lift Achievement, Reduce Income Inequality & Eradicate Poverty," cites Bush's "stunning results lifting the achievement of low-income, inner-city, and minority students" in Florida.