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Indians A Rising Force In California Politics

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Neel Kashkari, managing director of Pacific Investment Management Co. (Pimco), speaks at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago's 47th Annual Conference on Bank Structure and Competition in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., on Friday, May 6, 2011. Pimco's Total Return Fund has returned 7.3 percent in the past year, beating 83 percent of its peers, according to data compiled by Bloomberg via Getty Images. Photographer: John Zich/Bloomberg via Getty Images | Bloomberg via Getty Images

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Neel Kashkari's announcement last week that he is running for governor makes him the latest Californian of Indian descent to step onto the political stage in one of the nation's most ethnically diverse states.

While Sikh Californians have been farming in California's Central Valley for nearly a century, the last couple of decades have brought a wave of technology workers and entrepreneurs into Silicon Valley.

The 40-year-old Kashkari, a Republican, says tapping into the Indian donor base will be key to his campaign, although many are Democrats.

The growing roster of politicians includes Congressman Ami Bera and Attorney General Kamala Harris, both Democrats.

Democrat Ro Khanna and Republican Vanila Singh are seeking a San Francisco Bay Area congressional seat and attorney Harmeet Dhillon is vice-chairwoman of the California GOP.

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