Puneet Ahluwalia, a Northern Virginia business consultant, has joined the competition for the GOP’s lieutenant governor nomination in 2021, campaigning on a message of “hope, growth and opportunity.”
Ahluwalia, originally from India, consults with businesses on client acquisition, marketing and strategic affairs. His wife, Nadia, originally from Pakistan, owns an IT services firm that supports companies and government agencies. They became U.S. citizens 14 years ago and have three children in college.
He says he is running because he believes that in a turbulent year, Virginia is in trouble.
“It’s important that we find ways to create jobs, not only in Northern Virginia but in the rest of Virginia,” Ahluwalia said in a telephone interview.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, he said, it’s particularly important to strengthen small businesses.
As for education, he said Virginia must take a “safety first” approach to returning students to classrooms, noting that officials must work closely with parents in a dialogue about “what’s best for their kids — parents have to be engaged.”
Citing another priority in challenging times for the state, Ahluwalia said: “I really care about mental health issues” and making sure the state allocates sufficient resources in that area.