Northern Virginia lobbyist and consultant Puneet Ahluwalia is running for lieutenant governor to offer a fresh perspective in state politics and provide a pro-business mindset to help Virginians overcome the current economic challenges.
Originally from India, Ahluwalia announced his bid for the 2021 Republican lieutenant governor nomination in September and is one of many people who started campaigns for the position in the last couple months.
“I believe that I am a citizen soldier,” Ahluwalia said in an interview with The Virginia Star. “I believe that I have to stand up and share the greatness of this country and the American dream, which is still alive, and fight against the overreach of the government in Virginia that is choking small to midsize businesses.
“Mine is an American story, so that is the reason why I want to share it with all these large, colored minority groups who do not see what the Republican party has to offer,” Ahluwalia continued. “So I am the message and the messenger.”
Like some of the other Republican candidates, Ahluwalia said his decision to run for office stemmed from the recent policies of the Democratic-controlled General Assembly and progressive state politicians, which he believes are negatively impacting hard-working Virginians.
Ahluwalia’s main priorities include the expansion of broadband to rural areas, ensuring good education for all Virginians, solving inherent racial issues, empowering law enforcement, job creation and boosting the economy for local businesses.
“I am focusing on helping small businesses,” Ahluwalia told The Star. “I’ve been part of a financial crisis before and I want to lead the way to show that, yes, you can find a way to resurrect yourself. That is what’s needed: a pro-business leader standing next to the governor who is basically helping to be that pivotal ward for conservative resolutions and legislation.”
“I am going to work with the governor to serve the people of Virginia and create jobs,” Ahluwalia continued. “Because what we will need is not only job creation, but also getting people back to work because the economic, emotional and psychological challenges people will face are going to be great.”
Ahluwalia is confident that as an Indian immigrant his message will resonate with minority communities throughout the Commonwealth who feel left out and that he can bring a new wave of political participation among those groups, he said.
Ahluwalia resides in McLean, Virginia, a suburb of Washington D.C., with his wife, Nadia, and three children. Ahluwalia currently works as a managing partner at New World Strategies and is consultant with The Livingston Group. Additionally, Ahluwalia is the founder of the Proud American Political Action Committee, which is dedicated to helping conservative Republicans win elections at all levels of government in Virginia.
“I will earn Virginians trust and I will work hard to win their support. I just need an opportunity to show what I can do for Virginia as I have done as a business person,” Ahluwalia said.
Joining Ahluwalia on the Republican ticket is Del. Glenn Davis (R-Virginia Beach), former state legislator Tim Hugo and veteran Lance Allen. Loudoun County Sheriff Mike Chapman has been rumored to be entering the race.
The Democratic candidates include: Del. Sam Rasoul (D-Roanoke), Del. Hala Ayala (D-Prince William), Del. Elizabeth Guzman (D-Prince William), former Democratic Party of Virginia Chairman Paul Goldman, lobbyist Xavier Warren as well as former NAACP President Sean Perryman.