Profile of a South Asian American candidate

The World

Dhillon’s San Francisco law office is furnished with signs of the country her family came from. She has diplomas from Dartmouth and the University of Virginia but she seems most proud of the first case she won securing the citizenship for a man whose citizenship was eliminated by the Indian government. Dhillon’s private practice is business law but her pro bono work protects victims of hate crime, domestic violence, and racial profiling as well as asylum seekers. She’s pro choice and supports gay rights. But she’s also Republican. She says her parents registered as Republicans when they emigrated her and she registered as a Republican when she turned 18. unfortunately for her, the district she’s running in has always been represented as a Democrat and it’s hard to imagine that changing. She says people assume if you believe in civil and human rights, that you must be a Democrat. So she says she tries to educate people on the history of the Republican Party. Today there are no South Asians in Congress. She says South Asians are not as active in politics as they could. Some South Asian professionals were among the crowd at a Dhillon fundraiser in early October. This man with no political ambitions is thrilled to see Dhillon running. She says the fact that Dhillon is a young woman gives a new image to what many think of the GOP party. Dhillon is proud to call herself a fiscal conservative who emphasizes personal responsibility. Dhillon grew up as the only South Asian family for miles and she learned early on that she was going to be unique. Dhillon is bucking a trend: Indian Americans as a whole are leaning Democratic this year. She knows she probably won’t win this race but hopes to get people to consider voting Republican and to encourage a few more of her fellow South Asians Americans to get involved in politics.

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