The Hope Democrats brought in yet another gubernatorial candidate on Tuesday, Nov. 7. Shri Thanedar is running in the Democratic primaries with the intent of becoming the party’s nominee come election day, Nov. 6, 2018. Born into poverty in Belgaum, India, Thanedar has worked through a lot of adversity to become the American entrepreneur, scientist and now candidate he is today. “I have achieved my American Dream,” he explained in an interview last Friday, “I want to go back and help others achieve their American dream as well.”
Thanedar’s entrepreneurial background sets him apart from other candidates as well. However, he believes running a company will aid in his ability to organize the vision, team and work ethic that will create a better Michigan. As he said, “A governor must provide the leadership. He or she must come and craft a vision for the great state of Michigan.”
His agenda is focused on issues of education, infrastructure, government transparency, the economy, economic growth, environmental protection, universal health care, the promotion of equal rights for all and criminal justice reform. When speaking about policies that directly effect college students, he summarize his point by saying, “more Michiganders need to stay in Michigan and achieve their American dream right here.”
Thanedar specifically wants to tackle the growing speed bump of college debt. He wants to create a tuition incentive formula to encourage college students to stay and work in Michigan after graduation.
He explained that with a growing job market, there would be funds available to pay student debts if they continue to stay and work in Michigan for at least 10 years or even five years if students go on to start their own businesses and thus create more jobs in the market. He explained that if he could go back and give his younger self a piece of advice it would be: “we must be very ambitious and we must set ourselves high goals.” He attributed all of his success to his ability to dream big and look forward.
This dream big mindset carries into his policies on immigration. Having gone through the American immigration and citizenship process himself, Thanedar can directly relate to the struggles of immigrants today. However, he sees immigration as a “win-win” situation.
He explained, “the diversity that immigrants bring to American has only helped America do better.” Although he also admitted that there is work to be done in saying, “sometimes leaders exploit leaders fears like our President Donald Trump has done.” Overall, he has a critical but hopeful attitude as he continues to seek ways to improve the lives of immigrants.
For the race itself, Thanedar is hoping that some changes are made in the nominee process of the Democratic party. In the past, the party nominee is simply the front runner in the polls for the primary. However, Thanedar would like to see more dialogue and consideration throughout the party in order to settle on the “best possible Democratic nominee.”