Pramila Jayapal and Ro Khanna, two India-Americans among 13 contesting in the US midterm elections, won from their respective seats.
While Jayapal is from seventh Congressional District of Washington State, Ro Khanna is from 17th Congressional District of California. Their victory strengthened the grip of Democrats in 435-seat House of Representatives, which snatched control of it from Republicans today.
“Tonight was a great night for our campaign and for Democrats across the country. I’m grateful to the voters of #CA17 for giving me the opportunity to continue to represent you in Congress. This has been the honor of my life,” Khanna wrote on Twitter.
Tonight was a great night for our campaign and for Democrats across the country. I’m grateful to the voters of #CA17 for giving me the opportunity to continue to represent you in Congress. This has been the honor of my life. pic.twitter.com/5LuX2VMhpi
— Ro Khanna (@RoKhanna) November 7, 2018
“84%!!!! Thank you Washington’s 7th District, for re-electing me – a proud immigrant, strong woman of color, and fierce progressive – to the U.S. House of Representatives. Oh and this time, I’ll be serving in the majority!!” tweeted a jubilant Jayapal.
Thank you Washington’s 7th District, for re-electing me – a proud immigrant, strong woman of color, and fierce progressive – to the U.S. House of Representatives.
Oh and this time, I’ll be serving in the majority!! pic.twitter.com/RjCZ7NCgrd
— Pramila Jayapal (@PramilaJayapal) November 7, 2018
Jayapal and Khanna were among four Indian-Americans seeking re-election. The other two are Raja Krishnamoorthi and Ami Bera.
Like Jayapal and Khanna, Raja Krishnamoorthi, who is from eighth Congressional District of Illinois, is a first timer. Bera, on the other hand, is a three-term Congressman.
These four, who are popularly known as the ‘Samosa Caucus’, are among 13 Indian-Americans scripting success stories in the Midterms. Others looking to win for the first time are Hiral Tipirneni, Anita Malik, Chintan Desai, Aftab Pureval, Sanjay Patel, Sri Kulkarni, and Harry Arora. Six of them are Democrats.
Interestingly Krishnamoorthi is facing another Indian-American, Jitendra Diganvker, who is a Republican candidate from the eighth Congressional district of Illinois.
Entrepreneur Shiv Ayyadurai is the only Indian-American running for Senate. He is up against Democrat Elizabeth Warren for the Senate seat of Massachusetts.
Reports suggest there are around 50-100 Indian-Americans running for various elected offices across the country. This massive participation comes amid an increasing anti-immigrant stand by the US President, whose term has so far been the most controversial in US history.
The elections were held for 35 seats in the 100-member Senate, 36 governor’s posts, seats in state legislatures across the country and all 435 seats in the House of Representatives.
“It has been incredible to see the rise of Indian-Americans in US politics,” Rich Verma, the former US ambassador to India, told PTI.
This election could be transformational — sending a number of new members into the House of Representatives and state legislatures as well, observed Verma, who has campaigned for several of the Indian-Americans running for offices. “From Arizona, to Texas, Ohio, Michigan and beyond – we have a great slate of Indian-American candidates,”
“I hope that our number (in the Congress) increases,” Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi told PTI in an interview.
The rise of Indian-Americans in the US Congress appears to be an indication of the fulfilment of Bera’s wish to see double-digit representation in a decade.
Meanwhile, the Republicans retained their hold on the Senate and the Democrats snatched the House of Representatives, but the US midterm elections will be remembered for bringing to the fore many first timers, among whom were immigrants and people of different ethnic, religious and cultural backgrounds.