- I understand some will say that this overly ambitious, but in a state that is younger and more diverse than it has ever been, voices like mine are growing and need to be represented.
My name is Ashwani Jain and I use he/him pronouns. I’m a 31-year-old Indian American who has been lucky enough to beat cancer and go from Make-A-Wish kid to Make-A-Wish Ambassador; go from a Title 1 Elementary School to later earn 2 bachelor’s and 1 master’s degree; work in the public, private and non-profit sectors; and serve in the Obama/Biden White House and two federal agencies.
I’m now honored to say I’m a candidate for Maryland Governor. And if elected in 2022, I would serve as the nation’s first millennial Governor, Maryland’s first Governor of color and Maryland’s first South Asian Governor.
With this in mind, I understand some will say that this overly ambitious, eager millennial with a baby-face should wait his turn. But while a voice like mine has never been in the Governor’s Office, in a state that is younger and more diverse than it has ever been, voices like mine are growing and need to be represented.
People like me are tired of a broken system and “waiting our turn,” all while having the same debates, over the same issues, with the same people for decades. We are all ready for a change and understand that leadership is not just about age, and that elected experience is not the only kind that matters.
The world has changed and our politics needs to adapt. And decisions about us should not be made without us. So with a completely vacant Governor’s seat in my state, I’m running for two main reasons: (1) The first is to change the narrative of who deserves a seat at the table by making our state government more representative, transparent and accountable; (2) the second is to take a comprehensive approach to solving our issues by focusing on my “Relief, Recovery and Reform” agenda. I’ve detailed these specific proposals — including ways to pay for my ideas — on my website.
At its best, public service is about helping you live a better life. It’s about figuring out who really understands what you’re going through. As such, I believe a successful leader is one who understands both how the systems of power work, but also the real impact of policies.
In my two decades fighting to expand opportunities for my community, I have advocated for public policy at all levels of government — including with President Obama and then Vice-President Biden; developed and executed state-wide and nation-wide programs on tight budgets and short timelines; and I have managed high-level appointments. So I understand how the systems of power work.
And as an 18-year survivor of childhood cancer; as a son of Indian immigrants and small business owners; as a Maryland native and product of public schools; and as a diverse millennial, I understand the real impact of policies, including the inequities, because they’ve impacted me directly.
For those reasons, I firmly believe I have the experience, perspective and empathy needed to serve as the next Governor for Maryland.
I’m ready to make my case directly to the voters, but I’ll need your help! Whether it’s helping with policy development, making calls from home, or hosting virtual meet-and-greets with your friends and family; whether you can spare an hour a week or an hour a day — this campaign will only be won with your support. All details will be found at my website – https://www.jainforgovernor.com or my emailing VolunteerForJain@gmail.com
Ashwani Jain served as Associate Director of External Affairs at U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and as Deputy White House Liaison at U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in the Obama administration. He was also Director of Outreach — Cancer Moonshot Summit at the Obama White House.