A Republican challenger to Rep. Mike Honda says she raised $100,000 in her campaign’s first five days – but two parts of that statement bear further explanation.
Dr. Vanila Singh, 43, of Fremont, filed her initial candidacy papers just last week.
“People are tired of career politicians who are only concerned about their careers and not the jobs of the American people,” she said in a news release issued Tuesday. “My message is that we need to solve problems and find solutions. When someone is on an operating table you come to quick solutions in the interest of the patient. In government, that solution is often set aside for petty politics.”
Asked for more details, Singh campaign consultant Jason Klindt acknowledged later Tuesday that this initial $100,000 haul includes $25,000 from the candidate herself. He said he couldn’t provide more information about how many donors gave the other $75,000, or how much of that money came from within the 17th Congressional District; the campaign will have to disclose that later to the Federal Election Commission.
Also, a 2012 voter registration database showed Singh was registered without any party affiliation, not as a Republican. Klindt said Tuesday that Singh “updated her registration as she filed for Congress.”
Singh – now the third Asian-American candidate in the continental United States’ first majority-Asian-American district – might have to fight for notice in a race that’s already drawing national attention as former Obama administration official Ro Khanna, a Democrat, takes on Honda, D-San Jose.
With Honda being one of the House’s most liberal members and Khanna slightly less so, Singh likely would siphon more nonpartisan and Republican votes – some of the anybody-but-Honda bloc – from Khanna’s campaign than from Honda’s.
But both Democrats are far better funded (though Khanna has been outraising Honda significantly), and the district’s voter-registration breakdown is 44.4 percent Democrat, 31.5 percent nonpartisan and 18.9 percent Republican. So, at first glance, it seems unlikely she could surpass either Democrat to finish first or second in June’s “top-two” primary and proceed to November’s general election.
Singh is a clinical associate professor of anesthesiology, perioperative and pain medicine at Stanford University, where she treats patients with complex pain management issues; she’s also a married mother of two. She graduated from George Washington University Medical School in 1997 and received further training at Yale, Cornell and Columbia; she taught as a clinical assistant professor at UCLA before coming to Stanford. Though born in India, she’s a graduate of Fremont public schools and of UC-Berkeley.
“I have a strong desire to serve because I have lived the American Dream,” she said. “We need to get our country back on track. We have to create a climate where small businesses can create jobs and reduce the size and scope of government.”