An Indian-American businessman, campaigning with the message of “hope, growth and opportunity”, has joined the race for the Republican nomination for the post of lieutenant governor of Virginia, news agency PTI reported.

Delhi-born Puneet Ahluwalia is an active member of the local Republican Party unit and also serves at the Northern Virginia Republican Business Forum.

“Virginia is in trouble right now and we’re running out of time as Democrats offer the same old tired promises,” Ahluwalia was quoted by PTI, as saying . He announced his run for the lieutenant governor nomination last week.

Also Read | Donald Trump’s ex-campaign manager had 10 guns at home, allegedly hit wife: Police

The 55-year old migrated to the United States in 1990, and married an Afghan woman, Nadia.

“As immigrants ourselves, my wife and I weren’t born as Americans. We chose to become Americans and for good reason,” he said, adding, “I am not a politician. I am a proud American living the American dream.”

“I came to the United States and Virginia almost 30 years ago. My first job was delivering electronics to retail stores and since then I have built businesses and created jobs and opportunities for others. Today, I work as a consultant to international businesses on client acquisition, marketing and strategic affairs,” Ahluwalia said.

Also Read | Win the vote but still lose? Behold the US Electoral College

Describing himself as “pro-life, pro-liberty and pro-Virginia first”, he said there is a need to reopen schools and economy and get the lives back together.

In an interview to local Richmond Times-Dispatch, Ahluwalia said, “As a person of colour, I sympathise with those who are frustrated and angry about race in this country.” He said progressives “make big promises, trap minorities in dependence and hopelessness, then expect we’ll keep voting to re-elect them”.