Loudoun County educator and tech entrepreneur Deep Sran announced today that he is running for the 10th Congressional District.
Sran joins a crowded field of Democrats lining up to challenge Republican Rep. Barbara Comstock, who is serving her second term in a seat that was previously held by her former boss, Frank Wolf, for 32 years.
After working as a corporate attorney, Sran founded Ashburn-based Loudoun School for the Gifted in 2008. His private school made national headlines in October after a historic one-room schoolhouse he and his students were working to restore was vandalized and covered in racial slurs. The Ashburn Colored School served Loudoun’s black children from 1892 to 1959, and Sran is leading the effort to repair it and turn it into a museum on the history of education.
As an educator, Sran said his lifelong focus has been to build a better world through education. “I take personal responsibly for the world I hand off to my kids and everybody else’s kids. And that requires engagement in the political process now, which is what is really driving this,” he said.
He said watching the 2016 elections, the presidential and the 10th Congressional District, prompted him to run. He sees elected officials—specifically Comstock—who are not representing the people who elected them, and instead reacting to political crisis or party agendas.
“We don’t personally have a problem with Comstock, but when you look at the voting record and you look where this district is, she’s not really representing this district,” he said, noting how the 10th District is politically diverse, starting inside the Beltway to the east and stretching into rural Frederick County to the west. “You can’t just do what the party wants, you can’t just react. You have to come in with leadership and a real vision.”
Sran spoke of his experience as a private school educator and how that would mesh with his role, if elected, in the public sector. He is a product of the public school system and considers himself a big supporter of Loudoun County Public Schools. He describes Loudoun School for the Gifted, which enrolls about 60 secondary students, as an experiential educational lab. He’s shared some of the successes he and his team have seen with local public school leaders.
Sran also co-founded an education technology company, Actively Learn, that created an online platform that allows students and teachers to interact in real time while reading books and articles in class.
“I built these solutions in schools and in technology because I know we need to build better ideas for a better world and that’s the approach we need in Washington,” he said.
Sran, whose parents are from India, said the “doom and gloom” mindset of so many in Washington is the wrong approach to lead the country.
“The thing about immigrants and children of immigrants is we appreciate what we have here. … So it’s not just a game of, oh, what’s wrong. It’s what is the next amazing thing we can accomplish,” he said.
“This is my problem with Make America Great Again. It’s never been greater,” he added, referring to Trump’s campaign mantra. “There’s still a lot to do, but there’s no country that can match our potential.”
Sran and his wife, Anjili, live in Ashburn with their two daughters, 15 and 12 years old.
At least seven people are vying for the Democratic nomination to challenge Comstock in the November 2018 election, and two are from Loudoun—Sran and state senator and former prosecutor Jennifer Wexton. Also in the running are: Alison Kiehl Friedman, a McLean resident who works to combat human trafficking; Lindsey Davis Stover, a consultant and former staffer in Congress and in the Obama administration; Army veteran Dan Helmer; David B. Hanson, a retired Navy intelligence officer from Clifton; and Kimberly Adams, past president of the Fairfax teachers union.
Democratic leaders are expected to decide early next year whether to choose a candidate through a party-run process or a primary election open to all voters.