An Indian-American engineer and entrepreneur has challenged a Republican leader in his own backyard in her bid for the House of Representatives. Shrina Kurani, born to Indian immigrant parents in Riverside, California, will be facing off against incumbent Ken Calvert for the mid-term elections in November 2022. She will contest on a Democratic ticket.

A rank outsider, 28-year-old Shrina Kurani doesn’t consider herself a politician; rather, she would like to be thought of as a “fact-based problem solver”. Shrina Kurani decided to take the plunge into politics after she realised that Republican Ken Calvert is no problem solver and it was time for a new approach and bold action.

“As a first-generation American, my family worked together to build a successful pool supply business right here in Riverside. My parents didn’t take a single day off for 10 years, but even that level of hustle is often not enough these days. Opportunities are out of reach for far too many people while career Washington politicians like Ken Calvert are focused on helping themselves, their political parties, and their corporate donors,” she said.

Slamming her opponent, she added, “Ken Calvert has been in Washington for nearly 30 years and he’s voted against our interest time and time again. I’ve spent my career building businesses that reduce waste and create quality jobs.”

The odds are stacked against Shrina Kurani. Ken Calvert is a 15-term Congressman, and the Riverside congressional district she is running from is a Republican bastion, where the party currently wields a 6.2 point registration advantage. She will also be going up against fellow Democrat Brandon Mosley, who already has a list of endorsements in his kitty.

However, she is determined to “make things work better in Washington and build an Inland Empire where people feel safe, healthy, and have opportunities to succeed in fulfilling jobs.”


Born and raised in Riverside, Shrina Kurani graduated from La Sierra High School at the age of 16 and earned her degree in mechanical engineering from the University of California.

She has worked as an adviser to start-up businesses, both large and small, that are developing ways to make healthcare and education more affordable, accessible, equitable, and effective.

Most recently, Shrina Kurani has been building a company to increase opportunities by focusing on addressing disparities in the funding of start-up businesses founded by women and people of colour.

If she wins, she would join four other Indian Americans in the House of Representatives — Dr Ami Bera, Ro Khanna, Raja Krishnamoorthi and Pramila Jayapal.

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