Over dozen Indians win state-level election
More than a dozen Indian Americans, including five women, have won state-level elections in a first for the community.
This is in addition to the four Indians elected to the US House of Representatives: Dr Ami Bera, Pramila Jayapal, Ro Khanna and Raja Krishnamoorthi. At least three other races, including one for the House, are still not decided.
The five women elected to state legislatures are Jenifer Rajkumar to the New York State Assembly, Nima Kulkarni to the Kentucky State House, Kesha Ram to the Vermont State Senate, Vandana Slatter to the Washington State House and Padma Kuppa to the Michigan State House.
Niraj Antani has been declared elected to the Ohio State Senate, while Jay Chaudhuri has been re-elected to the North Carolina State Senate. Amish Shah has been elected to the Arizona State House, Nikil Saval to the Pennsylvania State Senate, Ranjeev Puri to the Michigan State House and Jeremy Cooney to the New York State Senate.
Ash Kalra has been re-elected to the California State Assembly for the third consecutive term. Ravi Sandill has won the District Court Judge polls in Texas.
Kesha Ram is the first woman of colour elected to the Vermont State Senate, Nikil Saval is the first Indian American elected to the Pennsylvania General Assembly, Jenifer Rajkumar is the first South Asian woman elected to the New York state office and Niraj Antani the first Indian elected to the Ohio Senate.
“This year’s election represented a giant leap forward for the Indian Americans’ role in US politics,” said Neil Makhija from the Impact Funds, which had raised $ 10 million and endorsed a large number of Indian American candidates.
“Indian American voters and candidates demonstrated the burgeoning power and influence of this important voting bloc in decisive fashion, which will help make the difference in key states like Michigan and Pennsylvania,” he added.
Makhija said the election featured a record number of Indian American candidates running in key state and federal races across the country, as well as the first Indian American to be on a presidential ticket, in vice-presidential candidate Kamala Harris.
Candidates Rikin Mehta and Sara Gideon lost their Senate race from New Jersey and Maine respectively, according to projections.
Born to an Indian father and an Armenian mother, Gideon, the current Speaker at the Maine House of Representatives, lost to Republican senator Susan Collins. Republican Mehta lost to Democrat incumbent Cory Booker. Booker received 60.4 per cent of the votes counted as against Mehta’s 38 per cent.