CLOSING ARGUMENT: Rep. Prasad Srinivasan, Candidate for GovernorMay 9, 2018
The doctor, legislator, and first-generation immigrant thinks Republican delegates and voters are looking for a "different" kind of Republican this year.
“For a guy who came in 1975, with $7.50 in his pocket, from another country, a vision, a dream, a hope, and to sit here right now talking to you … seeking the highest position in our state,” Rep. Prasad Srinivasan (R-Glastonbury) said, before trailing off and concluding, “what a beautiful country we have, what a beautiful state we have.”
Srinivasan, a state representative and doctor, is feeling “blessed” ahead of Saturday’s CT GOP convention at Foxwoods, where he’ll be one several candidates competing for the Republican endorsement for governor.
We checked in with Srinivasan as part of Reclaim Connecticut’s ongoing “Closing Argument” series, where candidates competing at May’s statewide conventions – and, potentially, August’s primaries – have a chance to make their case to convention delegates and voters.
A candidate has to earn the support of 15 percent of the delegates at the convention to automatically qualify for the August primary. If he or she doesn’t hit 15 percent, they can petition their way onto the primary ballot, though it can be a long and expensive process. Whoever earns 50 percent of delegates’ votes, after any number of rounds of voting, wins the party endorsement.
Srinivasan feels confident about 15 percent.
“Very positive, very energized, and I know I’m gonna be there,” Srinivasan said, in an interview this week with Reclaim Connecticut.
And if he doesn’t get there?
“I haven’t gone that far because I don’t really think that’s gonna happen,” Srinivasan said. “I’m not even going there because I know I can make it.”
ALL ABOUT “ELECTABILITY”
For Srinivasan, his closing argument comes down to one thing above the rest: electability.
“We cannot repeat the mistakes of the past,” Srinivasan warned. “And we need somebody at the top of the ticket who’s gonna be electable.”
What makes Srinivasan electable, according to the man himself? His legislative experience, his small business experience, and his “path into the cities.”
“Hartford, Meriden, Ellington will go for me all the way” in the fall, Srinivasan predicted. “I’ve taken care of four generations of people there.”
“Thirty-nine percent is what I’m told, minimum, that you need to carry a city by” as a Republican in the general election, Srinivasan told Reclaim Connecticut.
The doctor thinks he can get there.
He also thinks the Indian-American community in Connecticut can help him get there.
“Fifty-thousand [people] strong are energized beyond belief,” Srinivasan said. “For the first time, they’re seeing somebody as a statewide level. They are absolutely energized.”
But Srinivasan is comfortable with whatever comes his way this weekend and beyond.
“I love what I do,” Srinivasan said. “I’m hoping, keeping my fingers crossed. But even if it doesn’t [happen], I’ve been given the opportunity to run.”
“WHEN YOU THINK OF A REPUBLICAN, YOU DON’T THINK OF ME”
“I am not your conventional Republican,” Srinivasan said, citing in part his background as an immigrant and Indiana-American. “When you think of a Republican, you don’t think of me.”
But, Srinivasan added, he seeks to lead by his “fiscal conservative values.” “And those values resonate,” the doctor added.
THE CLOSING ARGUMENT
“Connecticut is a state of crisis,” Srinivasan said.
“In 1980 I chose to come to Connecticut, a first-generation immigrant,” Srinivasan added. “There was no reason for me to come to Connecticut … I chose to come to Connecticut.”
“I am so worried that that choice of coming to Connecticut is not realistically there anymore in our state,” Srinivasan said.
“This is a beautiful state,” he concluded, “and we need to save our state.”
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